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CUP Opting for NFC-Enabled microSD Cards

  • GO-Trust Technology announces it has been selected by China UnionPay to provide for its mobile payment development initiative. Conclusive tests have been conducted in the province of Sichuan, in partnership with HTC. As a result, 500,000 NFC-compatible microSD SWP cards should be delivered over the next six months (and several millions more in 2012).
  • The HTC mobile phone includes an NFC SIM card: this card has not been selected as it is managed by the mobile operator. The Chinese government would rather avoid an operator-centric mobile model and favour direct bank control. CUP has recently released the SWP-SD standard to help banking institutions become familiar with this new tool.
  • This microSD card supports several kinds of transactions (remittances, bill payments, mobile top-up, NFC purse, management of discount vouchers, etc.). It also makes it possible to use the mobile device as a POS terminal.
  • The particularly coveted Chinese market (900 million mobile phones) makes the difference through choosing not to favour the expansion of a mobile operator-based model (unlike the US and EU markets for instance).
  • According to a report published by ABI Research, 45,000 NFC-enabled mobile phones, 50,000 microSD cards and 2.5 million NFC SIM cards had been shipped to China in 2010. These figures are asserting its extensive deployment of contactless technologies and foreshadowing significant growth in the forthcoming years. This report also numbers 868 million mobile subscribers in March 2011 and assesses that this market could represent more than eight billion dollars in transactions by 2014.
  • The international company HTC was founded in Taiwan. As large scale markets now have faith in its services, it expresses a will to develop a Taiwan-dedicated NFC payment platform and wishes to pressure financial institutions into developing a joint initiative.