Gemalto & China Mobile to Launch NFC Transit Payments in Beijing

China mobile has partnered with Gemalto to launch its much anticipated UpTeq NFC Multi-tenant SIM, that will protect customer data used for contactless applications. The campaign will be launched soon, beginning with the mass transit service in Beijing. Gemalto will pre-load the SIMs with the transport app and will enable about 23 mn people in the city to take buses and metro trains by just tapping the phones on the ticket readers.

China Mobile is the world’s large telecom carrier and boasts over 800 mn in its subscriber base.

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2013 annual revenues of €2.4 billion and more than 12,000 employees operating out of 85 offices and 25 research and software development centers, located in 44 countries.

Public transport services have become extremely crowded in Beijing over the last few years and commuters seek convenient and quick solutions to navigate. Beijing is one of the most populated cities of the world.

Different payment systems in China are already embracing contactless technologies and more than 3.5 mn terminals in the country accept UnionPay’s QuickPass. The country has at least 3 times more mobile phones than it has payment cards and there is huge potential for the large number of commuters to enjoy the benefits of contactless payments.

Apart from the transport application, these SIMs will also be immediately ready to enable many other secure services such as mobile payments, couponing programs, loyalty, enterprise mobility etc. LTE-enabled capabilities allow customers to download the NFC apps with the speed of 4G networks.

Majority of the country’s population lives in urban areas, so the carriers have begun the deployment of contactless services in big cities like Shanghai, GuangZhou and Beijing. Gemalto has provided a customized solution to China Mobile, by leveraging its understanding and presence in the Chinese market and regional networks. It will allow China Mobile to expand these services to other cities as well.

With such initiatives, China is moving towards a future in which commuters who travel across different cities will be able to make all transportation related payments via one app, instead of buying different cards every time.

The SIM will be a part of Gemalto’s portfolio of mobile solutions, of which contactless is an integral part.

The move is integral to China Mobile’s payment strategy as the country is witnessing a significant growth in the adoption of POS terminals in retail stores. The country has more than 3.6 mn POS terminals equipped to process payment network China UnionPay’s QuickPass contactless payments service. The number was pegged at 1.4 mn just about a year ago.