CUSTOMERS of China Unicom and China Merchants Bank will be able to use their latest Android-supported mobile phones which boast a Near Field Communication feature to pay for services and purchases in Shanghai in December.
Shanghai is the first city nationwide to start trial commercial use of mobile payment, with 162,000 POS (point of sales) machines supporting the technology, marking the start of the commercial use of mobile payment officially.
Users swipe their NFC phones via special machines to complete the mobile payment, just like swiping credit cards in restaurants and shops. In December, they can use mobile payment at shops like Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Watsons in the city.
Users can apply for the services through the hotlines of the bank and the telco as well as at their outlets. They can start to enjoy the service after replacing the SIM (subscriber identity module) card in their NFC phones for free.
"It's a convergence between leading firms in technology and finance and I believe it's a win-win cooperation," said Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom.
At present, the bank has 43 million credit card users while the telco has 230 million users.
But iPhone users won't be able to take advantage of the mobile payment service because the iPhone 4 and the coming iPhone 5 models don't support it, according to the two partners.