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UnionPay launches QR payment standard, intensifies competition

By Tian Shi (People's Daily Online)    15:42, December 13, 2016

China UnionPay, a major bank card association in China, has issued standards for QR payment, aiming to unify technical requirements and reduce payment risks caused by technical deficiencies of small and medium payment institutions. According to experts, the move will likely cause a stir in the nation’s mobile payment market, which has long been occupied by two Internet giants: Alibaba and Tencent.

At present, the payment market offers a tripartite-party model and a quarter-party model. Associations like UnionPay, Visa and MasterCard all use the latter model, while Alibaba’s Alipay, Tencent’s WeChat Wallet and other third-party payment institutions utilize the tripartite-party model, which connects to banks directly, bypassing bank card associations.

“Compared to Alipay and WeChat, UnionPay's QR will be safer,” said Dong Ximiao, a researcher from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies under Renmin University. “It allows payment via the swiping of a card, avoiding the financial risks of using a fiscal account.”

As of June 2016, online payment users reached 455 million in China, of which mobile payment users surged to 424 million. Nearly 65 percent of Internet users utilize mobile payment tools. UnionPay cannot allow the fast-growing market to slip away.

“With the entry of UnionPay, the duopoly pattern will be ended, and the market share of banking systems will be expanded,” Dong said in an interview with Beijing Business.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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