A representative from China Unicom's product innovation department revealed that the operator's mobile phone payment service is undergoing trial use in four cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing, and the service will be formally put into commercial use in these cities from November 2010.
The representative said that China Unicom's mobile phone payment service adopts the SIMpass mobile payment technology offered by Watchdata, a Beijing-based data security solutions provider. The SIMpass technology solution offers two options to users who want to use the mobile payment service: one is to change new SIM cards at China Unicom's business halls without changing their mobile phones; the other is to use customized mobile phones.
Based on the customized mobile phone solution, China Unicom Beijing branch has reached cooperation with Beijing Municipal Administration & Communication Card in the launch of a new card, which allows China Unicom's users to pay for bus and subway tickets, and buy things from the operators' commercial partners with the embedded mobile phone payment function. Users can also recharge their mobile phone payment accounts at the recharge points of Beijing Municipal Administration & Communication Card.
The mobile phone payment account is reportedly independent from the communication account, which means users who use the mobile phone payment service will have two accounts. Of which, the deposit ceiling for the mobile phone payment account is CNY1,000.