China UnionPay has signed a strategic agreement with UC Mobile to develop browser-based mobile payments for UnionPay cardholders, the card organization announced last week.

The two companies in August formed a 100-member research-and-development team to co-develop UC browser-based payments, a UC Mobile spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

UC is China’s most-used mobile browser. It also has more than 20 million overseas users, the spokesperson says, noting the two companies expect the deal to garner mutual benefits. UC Mobile hopes that by 2013 more than 10 million consumers will conduct mobile payments on the UC browser, he adds.

As part of the agreement, the two companies jointly released a China UnionPay mobile security payment update for the UC browser for use by consumers who use Symbian and Android mobile operating systems.

“With this update to the UC browser, you can get rid of the tedious, low-success rate of the earlier mobile-payment processes and directly use a China UnionPay credit or debit card within the UC browser,” the spokesperson says.

Users would not need a third-party payment account; they would need only to enter their UnionPay card number and online PIN to complete the payment, he adds.

In China, less than 300 million consumers use third-party payment system while nearly 3 billion hold China UnionPay cards. “So there is a huge base for mobile-payments growth,” the spokesperson says.

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