Chinese operator, banks to launch co-branded mobile payments services

A deal between Chinese bank card association China UnionPay (CUP) and mobile operator China Unicom is set to see the introduction of a series of co-branded mobile payments services.

Described as “a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement”, the deal covers mobile payments, fixed-line payments, added-value businesses, e-commerce, information services, internet and information securities and the issuance of co-branded cards.

“Based on CUP’s cross-bank transaction system and China Unicom’s telecom network, the two parties are expected to innovate new payment methods and promote smart card payment services via mobile phones, primarily in pilot regions,” says the official announcement.

“To cope with the rapid development of mobile e-commerce under 3G telecom technologies, the two parties’ payment innovations will reach mobile shopping, tap into multi-channel payments, logistics and distribution, and pay order confirmation, in an aim to establish and perfect the industrial environment,” the announcement continues.

The technology to be used is not mentioned in the official announcement, although “smart card payments via mobile phones” sounds very much like NFC and both organisations have already demonstrated NFC services of their own.

More details as soon as we have them…

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