Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. signed a deal with China UnionPay Co. on Tuesday to launch a smartphone in China that would allow mobile payments through the country's only credit card network.
The "HTC Stunning," a 4-inch smartphone powered by Google's Android operating system, will allow users to apply for mobile banking services such as remote bill payments and contactless payments, according to an HTC statement.
The world's No. 5 smartphone maker will also work with Shanghai F-road Commerce Service Co. to introduce the services in China. F-road Commerce is a Chinese mobile application developer that tailors apps for financial institutions to offer mobile financial services on smartphones,
In January this year, HTC invested US$5.5 million (NT$159.6 million) in Shanghai F-road through its subsidiary HTC HK Ltd.
"HTC believes that mobile payments will become an indispensable function for smartphones, and we expect to jointly establish a complete industry chain of mobile payments based on such a strategic alliances," Fred Liu, president of HTC engineering and operations, said in the statement.
Currently, UnionPay cardholders can only make payments at about 40,000 contracted stores and can access 17,000 of the country's automated teller machines (ATMs).
China UnionPay has 2.6 billion credit and debit cards in circulation in different countries worldwide.
According to technology research company Gartner Inc., the number of mobile payment users worldwide will surpass 141.1 million this year, a 38.2 percent increase from 102.1 million in 2010.
Meanwhile, worldwide mobile payment volume is forecast to total US$86.1 billion this year, up 75.9 percent from US$48.9 billion last year.
(By Jeffrey Wu)