Chinese handset manufacturer Xiaomi has launched its first mobile payments and transport ticketing smartphone with the support of China UnionPay and 20 of the country's largest banks.
At launch, Mi Pay supports credit cards from 20 banks and debit cards from 12 banks including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank. The phones are also capable of storing public transportation cards from six cities across China.
Binding a bank card to Mi Pay takes four steps: Open the Mi Wallet app, select the option to add a bank card, key in the bank card details, and go through SMS verification for final confirmation.
Hardware security is applied through the Secure Element. Mi Pay also employs tokenisation to protect plain text credit card information, and makes users verify their fingerprint when logging in.
Up to eight cards can be tied to any one device and subscribers also stand to benefit from promotions and rewards offered by the banks.
Xiaomi is joining a crowded field of combatants in the Chinese mobile payment market, competing for business with Apple and Samsung as well as local tech behemoths TenCent and Alipay.
Hot on the heels of the Xiaomi launch, rival handset manufacturer Huawei has also shipped its first mobile payments service, again with the backing of China UnionPay.
Huawei Pay will be linked to the firm's smartphones and other wearable devices and supports more than two dozen banks. The Huawei Mate S, which launched last year, is the first Huawei device to support the new payment capabilities and has a fingerprint sensor and security chip.