Bank of China and China UnionPay in blockchain partnership
Two of China’s largest financial services firms have agreed a partnership to work towards the development of a blockchain-based mobile payment system.
State-owned Bank of China (BoC) and China UnionPay (CUP), a financial services corporation that runs the country’s largest bank card services operation, will jointly explore blockchain technology applications for payment system development, together with big data and distributed ledger technology deployment towards improving mobile banking products.
Within the initiative, CUP aims to build a unified port for mobile integrated financial services, where cardholders will be able to use a quick response (QR) code to spend, transfer and trade on a cloud flash payment app.
The BOC will subsequently launch a promotional programme of the payment system to provide customers with a “safer, more convenient and more efficient mobile payment service experience.”
Accelerating blockchain development
The initiative was announced shortly after China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) called for an acceleration in blockchain development efforts and proposed measures designed to provide a “healthy and orderly development of the industry”.
The MIIT has also encouraged extending the use of blockchain technology to other industries such as supply chain management and electronic deposit services and also the Internet of Things (IoT) but its main focus remains the electronic payment process.
The past week also saw Hong Kong authorities award a $20m research grant to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to see how blockchain technology can be deployed to enhance the security and efficiency of existing electronic payment systems and explore blockchain technology applications in the field.
The university will be supported by other educational institutions including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the City University of Hong Kong.