UnionPay’s Wallet app links personal smartphones to corresponding bank accounts, allowing users to pay for merchandise by swiping their phones at POS terminals. The app also works as a locator of nearby shops and resorts, in addition to offering downloads of currently active vouchers.
With mobile services and networks gaining swift traction amongst the Chinese public, analysts foresee the nation’s m-commerce sector reaching the multi-billion stratosphere over the next couple years.
One company at the forefront of these innovations is Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. Ltd. – one of China’s chief facilitators of near field communication (NFC) technology. Addressing mobile’s impact on banks and customer facilities, the company’s executive VP Jiang Mingsheng made the following statement:
“A mobile phone is far more than just a communication tool. For users, [mobile also functions as a payment and banking-services] tool. As for banks, they are mobile carriers of our services, and they are also expanding sales channels.”
In contrast to the U.S., China has quickly embraced the capabilities of NFC technology. At least 1.3 million POS terminals that support the technology have already been installed at grocery stores, shopping malls, eateries and subways throughout the Eastern nation.
Aside from Shanghai Pudong, seven of the nation’s banks have thus far adopted NFC technology, including Bank of China Ltd. and China CITIC Bank. Even more banks are expected to embrace the technology under UnionPay’s service platform.
The acceptance of NFC has risen in tandem with the popularity of smartphones across China. According to recent GfK figures, smartphone sales have annually jumped 109 percent in the nation of 1.344 billion.