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China

News about the NFC market in China — trials, pilots, tests and live services.

Alipay extends fingerprint IDs

December 16th, 2014

Alipay has extended its fingerprint log-in capability for the Alipay Wallet to iPhone users, China Daily reports. The function is also available to users of Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 handset and was first demonstrated at a conference in Beijing in October.

MasterCard takes HCE to China

December 5th, 2014

MasterCard’s cloud-based payment service is now available in China, following its initial launch in the US in September 2014. The service makes use of the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) tokenization system, the MasterPass digital wallet platform and host card emulation (HCE) technology. The launch will enable Chinese card issuers “to provide additional payment options by simplifying the deployment of NFC technologies and making in-app and online payments easier to set up and complete,” says MasterCard’s Dennis Chang.

Alipay offers transport passes

December 3rd, 2014

Alipay is making it possible for Chinese tourists to purchase transport passes for Singapore, Thailand and Macau ahead of travel and then collect them by scanning a barcode on their mobile phones at booths and kiosks at their destination. The Alipay Overseas Transportation Card service vends stored value smart cards that can be used to pay for bus rides, subway trips, taxis and other types of local and regional public transportation, Alizila explains.

Android Pay to use fingerprint security

November 27th, 2014

Android Pay, the mobile payments service being developed by China UnionPay, will use both NFC and fingerprint verification, Want China Times reports. “Android Pay adopts a similar model to Apple’s Apple Pay,” the report explains. “The difference is that there are more partners UnionPay can choose to produce the security recognition modules with and thus UnionPay may have greater influences on users than Apple Pay.”

CUP to launch Android Pay in China

November 25th, 2014

China UnionPay (CUP) is planning to introduce “Android Pay”, an NFC-based mobile payments service, in the third quarter of 2015, Yicai reports. CUP is in discussion with a number of mobile phone manufacturers to support the service, the article adds, and is working with Lenovo on POS terminal support.

CUP moves to block Alipay

November 17th, 2014

China UnionPay (CUP), the country’s official card payments network, has issued notifications to its member banks to tell them “to avoid working with third-party payment services like Alipay”, Want China Times reports. Alipay now has a 50% market share in China, the report adds, while CUP has an 11.9% share. Apple, which today added CUP cards as a payment option to its App Store, has been reported to be in talks with China UnionPay and also with Alipay about partnering to bring Apple Pay to China.

Starwood’s mobile keys go live

November 11th, 2014

The Bluetooth-based mobile keyless entry solution unveiled by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide earlier this month is now live in 10 hotels in Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha and will be rolling out to Aloft, Element and W Hotels across the globe. Starwood plans to rollout the SPG Keyless service to 30,000 doors in 150 hotels by early 2015.

Starwood Hotels picks Bluetooth for mobile room keys that work on smartphones and Apple Watch

November 3rd, 2014

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has unveiled a mobile keyless entry system that will allow guests to use smartphones to unlock rooms using Bluetooth at 150 hotels around the globe by early 2015. The service will also be available via an Apple Watch app when the new wearable device ships next year, the hotel chain has told NFC World+. More

Alipay demos biometrics for in-store payments

October 27th, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay demonstrated Alipay Touch, a fingerprint biometric system for its mobile wallet app, at a conference in Beijing earlier this month. AliPay Touch allows users to make mobile payments through Alipay Wallet by swiping their finger, WSJ reports. The company is also working with startup Megvii to add facial recognition technology to the wallet for account creation and verification.

Alipay Wallet hits 190m users

October 22nd, 2014

Alibaba-owned online payments giant Alipay’s Alipay Wallet app now has 190 million active users in China who use the solution to shop online via their smartphones, pay bills and pay for public transport. The company handles over 80m transactions daily, of which 45m are mobile transactions, and Alipay has partnered with more than 200 financial institutions.

Samsung Pay lands in China

October 2nd, 2014

Samsung’s version of Apple Pay is now live in China, Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports. The phone maker has taken a similar route to Apple by partnering with EMVCo member China UnionPay, which has an installed base of 3.6m contactless POS terminals, for the launch of an NFC payment service for users of its devices. “The tie up with UnionPay, which controls 80% of China’s offline payment market, is expected to give Samsung a head start in the mobile payment sector,” the agency says.

China Mobile picks Gemalto for NFC ticketing in Beijing

September 25th, 2014

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network operator, has chosen Gemalto to supply it with NFC-enabled SIMs “to protect consumer credentials used for mobile contactless applications​, starting with mass transit services in Beijing.” The SIMs… More

WeChat offers payments in stores

September 24th, 2014

Tencent’s instant messaging app WeChat can now be used to make payments in the retail stores of nine Chinese merchants including DQ Ice Queen, NUS Pharmacy, Rainbow, One Plus One, Lotus, Good Neighbours, Baby Room, Minsheng Department Store and NUS 365, according to Iamwire. “Whenever they click into the credit card function, there will be a two-dimensional code for scanning and barcode on the screen, respectively,” the report explains.

Alipay adds fingerprint security

September 23rd, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay has adopted Nok Nok Labs’ S3 Authentication Suite, enabling customers with a Samsung Galaxy S5 to use the fingerprint sensor (FPS) on their device to authenticate payments. The move means that “Alipay customers who make purchases and transfers in Alipay’s mobile application, Alipay Wallet, no longer need to enter a password — just apply their fingerprint to the FPS for a simple, secure mobile shopping experience leveraging emerging FIDO standards,” says Nok Nok.

Xiaomi unveils $13 smart band

July 28th, 2014

Chinese mobile device maker Xiaomi has launched the Mi Band, a CNY79 (US$13) wristband that features sensors for health and fitness tracking and can be used to unlock the wearer’s Xiaomi smartphone via BLE.  “Future plans for the Mi Band include making it into a personal ID — so it can unlock your door when you come home, or switch on smart appliances and gadgets,” The Next Web reports.

China UnionPay to offer QR payments?

July 11th, 2014

China UnionPay is developing a QR code-based mobile payment service that will provide a way to make both online and offline mobile payments, according to Marbridge Consulting. The company, which has been heavily involved in the rollout of NFC payments in China, is now in discussions with banks regarding promotional activities for the new service, the report says.

Alipay tests virtual credit card

July 3rd, 2014

Chinese online payments giant Alipay is testing a mobile app based virtual credit card service called Xinren Bao that features customised credit limits based on a user’s shopping history and a 38-day interest-free period on all purchases, Marbridge Consulting reports. Xinren Bao is currently in closed beta testing and Alipay has declined to provide confirmation or details to NFC World+ at this time.

Alipay tests NFC ticketing

June 20th, 2014

Alibaba-owned online payments giant Alipay has launched an NFC ticketing service, ECNS reports. The new All Pass service lets NFC phone owners in China use one prepaid account to pay for transit rides in multiple cities, ECNS says, and can currently be used with three Oppo phone models to make payments in 35 cities. Further NFC phones and 25 more cities are to be added by the end of this year.

Alibaba launches mobile payments and services platform

June 12th, 2014

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has unveiled Mashang Tao, a new platform that lets brands and merchants create QR codes that can be used to make purchases in stores, online and from printed advertisements, as well as… More

China Telecom picks Gemalto NFC SIMs

June 10th, 2014

Gemalto is among the suppliers selected by China Telecom to supply SIMs to support the rollout of NFC services to its 183 million subscribers. The carrier will be using Gemalto’s UpTeq Multi-Tenant NFC SIMs which come with embedded LTE management software, “enabling China Telecom subscribers to enjoy NFC services with the convenience and speed of mobile broadband”.

Full list of NFC trials, pilots, tests and live services around the world...

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