China Unicom Launches NFC-based Mobile Wallet

China-Unicom-NFC-mobile-wallet-rfid-blogChinese mobile operator China Unicom is collaborating with China Merchants Bank to launch a mobile wallet service for NFC-enabled phones, with Shanghai the first city to adopt the service.

China Unicom said in a post on microblog site Weibo, that subscribers can link their China Merchants Bank account to their SIM cards to turn their phones into a mobile wallet.

To use NFC-enabled phone to pay at outlets that have installed China UnionPay’s Quick Pass POS systems, consumers will have to register in advance for the service at designated China Unicom branches. Participating merchants include Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Watsons.

Shanghai is the first city to adopt the mobile payment system before it is introduced to the rest of the country, according to a follow-up post by China Unicom. The mobile operator added that China UnionPay plans to increase its POS terminals to 15 million units by end-2012.

Yet China Unicom is not the only Chinese operator working on digital mobile payments. In June, rival operator China Mobile announced a partnership with China UnionPay to collaborate on mobile payments services, including integrating banking details into SIM cards and NFC-based digital wallets.