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China Telecom Expands Mobile-Payment Service To Ningbo

- Updated February 26, 2011

China’s largest telecommunication operator China Telecom Ltd. is partnering with the Bank of China Ltd. and China UnionPay to offer a mobile-payment service in the city of Ningbo in China’s Zhenjiang province.

The service, dubbed the Tianyi Great Wall Card, uses SIMpass Near Field Communication technology developed by Singapore-based Watchdata Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and complies with the PBOC 2.0 standard, China UnionPay’s version of the EMV standard for chip cards.

The card is usable only in China Telecom CDMA phones, and consumers may use the NFC service at more than 7,000 merchant locations that deploy a combined 20,000 point-of-sale terminals in Ningbo.

China UnionPay also is planning to deploy compatible POS terminals overseas “so people can use the mobile-payment service even in different countries in the near future,” Leibo Mao, vice president of marketing at UnionPay’s Ningbo operation, said in a statement.

To apply for the service, applicants require a debit card issued by the Bank of China. “The card has two separate accounts–for shopping and mobile telephony,” a customer-service representative from Ningbo-based China Telecom tells PaymentsSource. “The Bank of China debit card is linked with the shopping account.”

Before the Ningbo initiative, China Telecom launched the service in the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Nanjing.

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