22 Sep 2009 10:41

China Mobile to launch mobile payment service using RFID SIM cards

Beijing. September 22. INTERFAX-CHINA - China Mobile Communications Corp. (China Mobile) will launch a new mobile payment service in mid-October that utilizes SIM cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chipsets, a China Mobile employee told Interfax on Sept. 22.

Du Meng, an employee from China Mobile's marketing department, said that China Mobile plans to provide the RFID SIM cards for free to all subscribers who deposit a minimum amount of money on their accounts or to those who subscribe to certain mobile payment service bundles, though a detailed service plan has not yet been finalized.

China Mobile's new mobile payment service allows users to authorize transactions by "swiping" their handsets on RFID receivers, which then automatically deducts money from the user's prepaid mobile account.

Subscribers will be able to retain their original phone numbers when switching from their original SIM card, Du said.

China Mobile is also developing a number of other applications that utilize the RFID SIM card, including access control and registration.

China Telecommunications Corp. (China Telecom) and China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd. (China Unicom) are also developing their own mobile payment services.

China Telecom demonstrated its mobile payment technology at the P&T/Wireless & Networks Comm China 2009 on Sept. 16 with its removable TransFlash card, similar to a SIM card, which also links a subscriber's bank account with the handset.

China Unicom launched its own mobile payment handset on Sept. 9, which is integrated with SIMPASS technology and used for paying for public transportation.