On September 8, a live demonstration of UnionPay’s frictionless payment broadcast from Shanghai’s exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) caught the eyeballs of many businesses. On the table, a model car had just been fully charged. As soon as the charging gun was plugged out, the payment was completed. Such is a prime example of UnionPay’s frictionless payment solution, a service offering car owners a new experience to “plug in and pay on the fly”. The host explained that UnionPay’s new payment service has been adopted in many transportation use cases outside Mainland China such as for parking lots and gas stations.
The idea behind UnionPay’s frictionless payment solution is that the vehicle is connected to the owner’s bank account by way of license plate recognition, electronic toll collection (ETC), and vehicle identification number (VIN) recognition, etc. Payments can be made automatically at designated merchants once the car owner enables the service.
UnionPay has developed several use cases for frictionless payment both within and outside Mainland China: parking lots, gas stations, highway toll stations, and charging stations. In Mainland China, more than 17,000 parking lots, over 100 gas stations, and highway toll stations in 17 provinces and cities have been enabled for the solution. The frictionless charging service demonstrated at the CIFTIS was launched for pilot this April in Shenzhen.
Outside the Chinese mainland, UnionPay frictionless parking made its Hong Kong debut in June by going live at 18 Sun Hung Kai shopping malls. At present, UnionPay frictionless payment is available at more than 50 parking lots and gas stations in Hong Kong and Macao as well as toll stations on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. UnionPay cardholders in Hong Kong and Macao can enjoy the new service simply by adding essential information such as their UnionPay card and license plate numbers to the apps of the shopping malls and gas stations. During the pandemic, the frictionless solution has enabled contact-free payments for Hong Kong and Macao residents, helping to reduce the COVID-19 exposure.
UnionPay International will promote the frictionless solution abroad to help develop smart transportation. The service will also be extended to other day-to-day use cases including payments for property management and government services.
The CIFTIS is one of the three major exhibitions for China’s opening-up alongside the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair). This year’s event, themed “Global Services, Shared Prosperity”, is held both on-site and online, with the wide participation of businesses in and outside Mainland China.