China’s second-largest mobile-network operator China Unicom has begun offering a contactless mobile-payment service in Beijing.
Launched Dec. 31, the service is based on a SIMpass card, the Near Field Communication technology provided by Singapore-based Watchdata Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
The SIMpass card is compatible with mobile phones using 2G networks, a Beijing-based Unicom customer service representative tells PaymentsSource. “The card works on most mobile phones and doesn’t require existing Unicom mobile-network users to change their current phone numbers,” he adds.
Consumers may apply for the service only at one Unicom store in Beijing, and each SIMpass card costs 110 yuan (US$16.60 or 12.8 euros), the representative says. They also may use SIMpass card-enabled mobile phones as e-wallets to pay at places deploying the Beijing Automated Fare Collection System, the world largest transportation system.
Users of this service also may make payments at local subway stations and taxis, and at such places as theaters, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. Consumers may charge their accounts using Unicom prepaid cards.
China Unicom says it gradually will expand the service to Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou. China Unicom had 166 million registered users as of November.
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