China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator, has reached agreements with subway and bus companies in 30 cities to allow users to make payments through mobile phones next year, reports Caixin Online. Pilot programs will be launched first in Beijing, Guangzhou, Changsha and Chengdu.
China Mobile demonstrated its NFC payments solution, described as a “multi-application open platform” at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week for the first time. As well as the transportation operators, it is working with China Merchants Bank, China Construction Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank on NFC. The service will launch in February 2013 with a choice of NFC devices from eight handset makers, Xiong Hui, China Mobile’s vice general manager for e-commerce, revealed in October.
Meanwhile, a China Unicom executive has revealed that from next year the company will require all its mobile phones priced at more than 3,500 yuan (US$562) to include NFC, Caixin Online adds. China Unicom is also working with China Merchants Bank on NFC. The partners jointly launched the Unicom Merchants Bank mobile wallet service in Shanghai last month and plan to extend availability nationally.