The huge potential of China’s mobile payments market is highlighted by a new report from ABI Research, which predicts NFC-based payments could pass US$8 billion by 2014. Such is the promise of the Chinese market that players from a number of different sectors are already positioning themselves to benefit from it. The report highlights financial institutions such as China UnionPay and third-party mobile payment providers, as well as the country’s three mobile operators. “ABI Research believes the mobile payment market in China will largely adopt an MNO-led business model,” said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting.
The report says the Chinese government is currently keen on bridging solutions to stimulate the contactless payment market. The main solution is NFC-based contactless SIM cards. Watchdata’s SIMpass solution has gained “strong interest” from the three operators, says the report. So the NFC-based handset market is small, estimated by ABI at 45,000 handsets in 2010 against 50,000 SD card add-ons and 2.5 million of the SIMpass cards.