Now, UnionPay slips through bar­code for pay­ments pie

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By JIANG XUEQING jiangx­ue­qing@ chi­

China UnionPay, the na­tional bankcard as­so­ci­a­tion, launched on Mon­day its own app and se­cu­rity stan­dard for two-di­men­sional bar­code pay­ment.

It thus joined ex­ist­ing play­ers Ali­pay and WeChat Pay in the in­ter­net-based mo­bile pay­ments seg­ment.

Song Han­shi, gen­eral man­ager of UnionPay’s tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment, said it will adopt uni­fied tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions to achieve in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity among dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and to en­sure con­sis­tency in user ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cur­rently, com­mer­cial banks have their own two-di­men­sional bar­code pay­ment apps and UnionPay hopes to pro­mote the use of bar­codes across dif­fer­ent banks.

It will also ap­ply to­ken tech­nol­ogy to pro­tect sen­si­tive ac­count in­for­ma­tion from leak­ing and to en­sure pay­ment se­cu­rity.

The bankcard as­so­ci­a­tion is work­ing on risk con­trol stan­dards for two-di­men­sional bar­code pay­ments and will launch its own prod­uct in this area, ac­cord­ing to Cai Jianbo, first ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of China UnionPay.

Zhao Yao, a spe­cial re­search fel­low at the In­sti- tute of Fi­nance and Bank­ing at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said: “This is an im­por­tant mea­sure taken by UnionPay and com­mer­cial banks to deal with com­pe­ti­tion from third-party pay­ment in­sti­tu­tions, in terms of re­tail pay­ment, as small mer­chants have be­come in­creas­ingly un­will­ing to use POS (point-of-sale) ma­chines due to higher bankcard swipe fees.”

He said that UnionPay is likely to repli­cate its ex­ist­ing off­line rules on bankcard fees, mer­chant ad­min­is­tra­tion and risk man­age­ment, and ap­ply them on­line.

“Whether or not it will suc­ceed in the mar­ket is hard to say, con­sid­er­ing that Ali­pay and WeChat Pay have taken a dom­i­nant share of the mar­ket. Not to men­tion that these two pay­ment ser­vice providers can pro­vide more pay­ment sce­nar­ios through e-com­merce, so­cial net­work­ing and ver­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions than UnionPay and com­mer­cial banks,” he said.

Wang Pengbo, a se­nior an­a­lyst with Analysys, a Bei­jing-based provider of big data analy­ses, agreed.

In e-com­merce and so­cial net­work­ing, Ali­pay and WeChat Pay def­i­nitely have an ad­van­tage now, he said.

“With UnionPay and its mem­ber in­sti­tu­tions grad­u­ally ex­pand­ing their mar­ket share in this field, the com­pe­ti­tion based on con­sump­tion sce­nar­ios will grow more in­tense,” Wang said.

He noted that the UnionPay stan­dards will also pro­mote the pro­tec­tion of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and money se­cu­rity.

Fan Feifei con­trib­uted to this story.


A UnionPay em­ployee in­tro­duces new bank card ser­vices to a visi­tor at a show in Bei­jing.

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