South Korea became the first overseas market to adopt China UnionPay’s mobile QuickPass service, launched in partnership with local operator KT and its subsidiary BC Card.
The service enables local holders of UnionPay cards to make contactless payments via HCE technology, as well as online payments. South Korea is viewed as an ideal market because more than 19 million UnionPay cards have been issued in the country.
The service is being launched by an alliance of Unionpay International, the Chinese giant’s international unit, as well as KT and BC Card, a card issuer owned by the operator.
Over the first five months of 2016, the transaction volume of Korea-issued UnionPay cards in mainland China grew 45 per cent year-on-year and UnionPay believes its cards have become an important payment method for Korean residents who visit the country.
Mobile QuickPass supports both offline contactless and online payments. It encompasses many mobile payment products, including HCE (host card emulation), Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
UnionPay claims it is safer than other mobile payment products because it provides multiple security assurance including dynamic password and payment token. The actual bankcard number is not shown during payment, and the transaction information is “well-kept within the issuer and UnionPay’s network.”
South Korean users will be able to “bind” their UnionPay cards issued by BCard or its members with their NFC-enabled mobile phones and tap their phones to pay at more than 7 million QuickPass terminals across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, and New Zealand.