China UnionPay, China’s largest payment and clearing network, joined with more than 20 lenders to introduce Quick Pass, a new mobile payment service, in a bid to win back market share from third-party payment leader Alibaba Group’s Alipay affiliate.
Using NFC (near-field communication) technology, UnionPay’s service lets users pay
for purchases by tapping their smartphones with pre-stored bank card information on a device at cash registers, according to product brochures handed out at an event in Beijing that was attended by officials including People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Fan Yifei and UnionPay President Shi Wenchao.
China’s mobile-payment transactions jumped 134% to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion) last year, central bank data show.
Alipay affiliate controlled 83% of China’s third-party mobile payment market in 2014, while Tencent Holdings’s Tenpay held 10%, according to market-research firm iResearch.
Currently, Quick Pass is solely available on Android phones, but Apple users can expect inclusion sometime in the first quarter of next year. Apple is hoping to launch its own mobile payment system in China by February.