Handset vendor HTC has announced its first NFC handset will go on sale with China UnionPay, the country’s only card payments network, as early as September. The Android-based device, which is called the HTC Stunning, will also be the first smartphone in China capable of handling mobile payments, according to China Unionpay. The payments network has initially started work in about a dozen of the country’s cities with local banks to enable the launch of mobile payment services, said Chai Hongfeng, China Unionpay’s executive vice-president, according to a report in China Daily. HTC will also work with F-road Commerce Service, a Chinese app developer, on introducing a mobile financial service to the country, according to another report in FocusTaiwan. The speciality of F-road Commerce, in which HTC is an investor, is in developing apps for mobile financial services. The vendor has also urged financial institutions in its home market of Taiwan to jointly build out an NFC infrastructure.
Separately, Nokia has confirmed that the N9, its high-profile MeeGo smartphone whose features include NFC, will be not be launched in either the US or UK, two of the markets with the most potential for mobile payments services. It is an irony that the N9 is one of only a few recent handset releases from the company that has received positive reviews from critics who focused on features such as its buttonless screen.