China UnionPay, a large card scheme in China, has signed up eight banks including the Banks of China, Shanghai and Beijing for the launch of a new contactless mobile payments system in Shanghai. According to ‘China Daily’, the new Wallet launch will let customers link their cards to NFC-enabled handsets from China Mobile. Poland has also been busy launching a mobile m-payments scheme.
The new wallet app from China Mobile and the eight participating banks, which also includes China Everbright Bank, China CITIC Bank, GF Securities, China Minsheng Banking Corp and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, can be used for low-value payments at the Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminal in retailers.
The partners are actively seeking retail partners to encourage uptake and vouchers and loyalty reward points from retailers can also be added to the programme.
The Chinese wallet scheme is typical of such launches from Google, other banks, retailers, and Card Schemes like MasterCard in the past and will no doubt be hoping to attract youngsters with high disposable incomes.
It is a very different model from the group of six leading Polish banks, including Alior and PKO Bank Polski, which recently launched a different mobile payments project that defines a common standard for the country and actively aims to dislodge the dominance of established card schemes run by Visa and MasterCard.
Polish Banks’ Mobile Payments Solution Targets Card Schemes
The six Polish banks involved in the project, with BRE Bank, Bank Millennium, Bank Zachodni WBK and ING Bank ÅlÄ ski the other participants, collectively hold a 70% market share of Poland's electronic banking market. Their drive to create a joint venture (JV) to develop the standards necessary to enable mobile payments, with the aid of the national regulator, represents a major challenge to the established card schemes in Poland as it could seriously damage credit card usage.
The same claims have been made for the Weve JV in the UK, however, but it still very early days to pronounce the death of the card just yet. The core involvement of banks alone does make it an interesting project though and could help achieve significant consumer uptake.
The latest Polish offering is based on PKO Bank's IKO app which was released in Q1 2013 and allows customers to make mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and PoS contactless payments, bypassing the established card infrastructures. All the banks will have access to this platform, which will be shared equally, and differentiation will come from the bolt-on features and extra added by separate banks. Other banks may come in the future too.