UnionPay Debuts Mobile Wallet in China with Deep Partnership Roster (Dec. 15, 2015)
China-based payments giant UnionPay has launched a new mobile payments service with more than 20 banks already signed on as partners. Known as QuickPass, the NFC-based service is compatible with all Android-based smartphones and currently is accepted by 25 retail franchises comprising more than 10,000 retail locations throughout China, including McDonald’s, Carrefour and Watsons. More merchants are expected to come aboard soon, UnionPay said, and the service also can be used to make online purchases. Along with the deep roster of bank and retail partners at launch, UnionPay also is touting QuickPass’ security features, which include tokenization and host card emulation.
QuickPass is state-run UnionPay’s most decisive move yet to challenge privately held competitors in the Chinese m-payments sector, most notably Alibaba and Tencent, both of which have launched mobile wallets of their own. And Apple Pay’s long-expected entry into China—whenever it does finally happen—will add another major player to the battlefield. But there could be room for a number of players in the market. Mobile payments volume topped more than $3.5 trillion in the country last year, according to the Chinese central bank.