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All eyes are on mainland China for mobile payment innovation

The vastly populated country already has the key components – the world’s largest mobile phone subscriber base with over one billion users; nearly three billion bank cards in circulation; two thirds of cities in mainland China using NFC smart cards for public transportation; 3G subscriber base in excess of 220 million; mobile network operators including China Mobile working on multiple NFC (near field communication) initiatives in top tier cities; and, smaller players 99Bill and Alipay forging ahead with innovative mobile payment services. Professionals from bank and payment, IT and security, retail, telecom, government and transport and smart card manufacturers can come and listen to a unique panel of worldwide experts sharing their vision for mobile payment technology in mainland China, and beyond, at CARTES Asia two-day conference 27 & 28 March. Speakers from Datacard, Gemalto and Watchdata together with other industry experts from mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Sri Lanka and the UK will discuss hot topics including ‘Own your Future! What you can do to secure your place in a rapidly changing Transaction Environment’.

What is exciting is that it has only taken mainland China a few years to move into e-payments from a largely cash-based economy. According to Maverick China Research hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers are now making electronic payments when shopping online, swiping bank cards to pay for meals, and riding public transit with contactless cards. The next step is mobile payment technology. To make this happen across the country a consensus is needed between all players: technology suppliers, service operators, government and regulatory bodies among others. But when it happens, it is likely to be extremely fast and efficient. The good news is that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) already supports the technology.

Dan Wagner Chairman and CEO of mPowa said: "It has never been more important for banks, telcos and retailers to trust the infrastructure and security provided by a mobile payment solution. We have lead the field in Europe and Africa with our future facing, 'best in class' focus on security and look forward to showcasing our innovative solution to the Asian market". Michael Weatherseed, Director of Security Events, Comexposium, Paris and organiser of CARTES Asia said: “We are living in exciting times. It is not a question of if the whole of China will embrace mobile payment technology but when and who will be first. The competition is going to become intense between banks, mobile operators and third party providers.  

“Mobile payment technology solutions are being employed on a local basis in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as in the USA and Europe. But it still remains at an early stage and multi-national solutions, which allow consumers to use NFC enabled mobile phones across the mainland will take some time to come through. What is unique about CARTES Asia exhibition and conference is that it allows developers and manufacturers to share case studies, showcase technology and work towards a global integrated mobile payment technology network,” added Weatherseed.

CARTES Asia is part of a network of three annual NFC, RFID and smart technology exhibitions and conferences organised by Comexposium. The other two events take place in Las Vegas, North America and Paris, France. The organisers of CARTES Asia expect over 100 exhibitors to showcase their technology and over 3,000 top-tier professionals to visit the event. CARTES Asia is co-located with E-Commerce Asia.

Sources:  Smart Insights, Mobile Payment in Greater China – February 2013. Maverick China 20/20 - The Future of Mobile Payment in China (2012).

(Simplified Chinese)