Chinese handset maker Xiaomi has launched its Mi Pay NFC-based mobile payments service in its domestic market, in collaboration with bankcard association China UnionPay. The platform runs on the company’s Mi 5 handsets and makes use of biometric authentication and tokenization. It will initially support debit and credit cards from a total of 20 banks, as well as public transportation cards from six cities across the country.
“Users can simply add their China UnionPay and public transportation cards to the Mi Wallet app,” the carrier says. “For transactions, Mi Pay employs tokenization to protect plain text credit card information and makes users verify their fingerprint for maximum security. If a device is lost, users can turn off Mi Pay through the official website.
“Binding a bank card to Mi Pay takes just four steps — open the Mi Wallet app, select the option to add a bank card, key in the bank card details and go through SMS verification for final confirmation.
“In stores, instead of having to swipe a card when making a payment, users just have to hold their device near China UnionPay’s QuickPass-enabled POS terminals and the bank card details will pop up. After fingerprint verification, the device is then activated and can be used as a bank card. Up to eight cards can be tied to any one device. Mi Pay users also get to benefit from promotions and rewards offered by the banks.”
“At launch, Mi Pay supports credit cards from 20 banks and debit cards from 12 banks including those from Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank,” Xiaomi adds.
“After cooperating with China UnionPay over the past three years, Xiaomi is now truly excited about our joint partnership to launch Mi Pay,” says Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun. “We believe that Mi Pay will be a key driving force in promoting the development of China’s mobile payments industry and deliver much more convenience to our users.”
Xiaomi unveiled Mi Pay in August 2016, after reports emerged in April that the company was working with China UnionPay. The announcement follows this week’s launch of Huawei Pay, the NFC service from rival handset manufacturer Huawei.