Earlier this week, smartphone maker HTC revealed its first NFC-based device, reportedly called the “HTC Stunning.” The phone is being released in China and will include support for mobile payments through a partnership with China UnionPay, a Chinese bankcard network.
What we didn’t know, however, was what kind of phone the Stunning is. Now we do: it’s just the HTC Incredible S with a NFC chip. Also, it’s not called the “HTC Stunning.” That was a slight mistranslation from the Chinese for “Incredible.”
The strategic partnership between HTC and UnionPay will include technical R&D, mobile payment services promotion and future growth opportunities, HTC tells us.
Users who purchase this device will be able to pay their China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom bills and their utility bills, check their available credit, earn loyalty points and make reservations at hotels, purchase movie tickets and tickets to other events. UnionPay’s partner banks will also offer mobile banking and payment services to the phone’s users, which they can sign up for online.
In addition, thanks the phone’s NFC chip (near field communication), the Chinese version of the Incredible S will allow for mobile payments at the point-of-sale.
According to Fred Liu, the General Manager of HTC Research, Development and Operations, HTC is convinced that mobile payments will become one of the “essential functions” a smartphone offers. He believes that through the strategic partnership with China UnionPay, an improved mobile payment system can be established and the popularity of smartphone mobile payments can be boosted.