China Mobile announces plans to bring mobile commerce to 12 Chinese provinces
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network operator, is preparing to rollout its first mobile payments initiative in February 2013. The company has begun stockpiling NFC-enabled smart phones, provided by eight of the world’s largest smart phone manufacturers, in order to prepare for the launch of the initiative next year. The company has announced that it will introduce new NFC services to 12 provinces in China as part of its mobile commerce initiative, making its NFC-enabled mobile devices to consumers at the time of launch.
China Mobile teams with China UnionPay for initiative
The initiative represents a partnership between China Mobile and China UnionPay, a leading commerce network. The two companies are keen to address the growing demand for mobile commerce services coming from China Mobile’s more than 690 million subscribers. These consumers are eager to make purchases for goods and services using their mobile device rather than physical currency or payments cards. The common consensus is that mobile commerce platforms will be a more convenient way to conduct transactions.
NFC-enabled mobile devices to be sold late 2012 and throughout 2013
In 2013, China Mobile aims to sell more than 10 million NFC-enabled mobile devices. Many of these devices will come from Samsung, HTC, Huawei, and ZTE, and will actually be available near the end of 2012. The bulk of these devices will be sold during 2013, alongside the launch of the new mobile commerce initiative. Once the initiative is launched, China will have one of the most expansive mobile commerce infrastructures in the world.
Security precautions still unclear from China Mobile
China Mobile has not yet detailed the security measures it is taking with its mobile commerce initiative. Security remains one of the most significant issues concerning mobile commerce. Without adequate security, consumers will find their financial information at risk of theft and exploitation. In other parts of the world, concerns regarding security have served to stymie the progress of the mobile commerce industry and keep many consumers away from mobile payments entirely.