UnionPay, Intel Team Up on Mobile Payments (April 15, 2013)
China may be one step closer to becoming the one of the largest NFC payments markets. Shanghai-based payment card network China UnionPay (CUP) has tapped tech giant Intel to provide mobile payment services. Under the collaboration, announced last week at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, CUP will use Intel’s identity protection technology for its mobile payment services, including the network’s UnionPay Quick Pass NFC-based payment app. Intel also will equip CUP’s data centers with its Hadoop software framework.
One of the world’s largest payment card networks, with more than 3.5 billion cards issued, CUP steadily has been developing its mobile payments business. In February, the company signed a deal with Dutch digital payment security provider Gemalto to build a “secure mobile payment ecosystem.” That pact came a month after CUP contracted telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. to develop an NFC-based mobile phone and provide mobile payment services to CUP customers. But the company’s most important mobile accomplishment might have been getting its NFC payment standard endorsed by the Chinese government last year. The government backing was essential to getting in-store payments off the ground in China, according to analysts. The country is expected to become one of the world’s largest markets for NFC-based transactions in the coming years, with more than $8 billion in NFC-based sales projected for 2014, according to a report by ABI Research.