China Unionpay, the country’s dominant card-payment processor, launched a mobile payment service called Quickpass with over 20 of the country’s banks.
The service supports a range of technologies including NFC, HCE, TSM and tokenisation. The initial launch is based on HCE and tokenisation, said the payments giant.
HCE, or host card emulation, enables smartphones to make card payments without the service provider needing access to the phone’s secure element.
An NFC-based smartphone (Android 4.4.2 or above) using Quickpass can be a substitute for a bank card at the point of sale. China Unionpay does not state directly but the service appears to be only available for Android (not Apple) devices.
An Android smartphone can be used for making tap-and-go payments at any point-of-sale terminals with a QuickPass branding or for online payment via UnionPay Online Payment with no SMS verification required.
The Quickpass brand has previously been used by China Unionpay for its contactless technology.
It did not reveal the names of its banking partners.
The payments giant said its service is more secure than rivals, thanks to its use of cryptographic keys and cloud verification. It also claimed to have the edge on customer experience because the Quickpass payment process does not require internet access or opening an app. Users just ensure their smartphone display is on and then hold their phone close to the point-of-sale reader.
QuickPass mobile payment is already available at “over ten thousand locations of 25 franchise chains in mainland China”, said China Unionpay. More merchants are expected to sign up soon.