On Saturday, China UnionPay collaborated with more than 20 banks, smartphone makers and internet providers to formally release Quick Pass on mobile phones, enabling a new card-free and cashless transaction method.
Set-up takes about 30 seconds and payment is quick — complete in two seconds flat. To make the transaction, you don’t even need a mobile signal on your phone, both apps and internet accessibility are unnecessary. Merely wave your phone over the the point of sales unit and the transaction is finished seconds later. Magic!
You may have seen this payment form used before, as it has been on an ICBC trial run since May, establishing itself in petrol stations and McDonald’s across the country.
Currently, Quick Pass is solely available on Android phones, but Apple users can expect inclusion sometime in the first quarter of next year. Apple is hoping to launch its own mobile payment system in China by February.
Quick Pass sparks competition between UnionPay and Alibaba, which runs Alipay, and Tencent’s Tenpay, both of which work on Android and Apple phones. Analysys, an internet data provider, said Alipay commanded 74 percent of the market in the second quarter, followed by Tenpay, with 13.2 per cent.
According to Fan Yifei, now is the time for corporations to vie for the mobile payment market, as it has skyrocketed since last year. Data shows 4.54 billion transactions were carried out in the third quarter, involving a total of 18.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 350% and nearly doubling last year’s total from the same quarter.
Welcome to the future, where innovators find new ways to eliminate paper and plastic via mobile apps, and meanwhile smartphones morph into something like an extra appendage on their users. We’ve come a long way.
By Mary DeMay