China Gets Wearable Payment Device as UnionPay Defends Its Turf

China UnionPay Co. introduced the nation’s first wearable payment product as the giant of the Chinese industry moves to defend its turf from other service providers.

The bracelet lets some Industrial Bank Co. credit-card holders make payments at more than 5.3 million point-of-sale machines or checkout terminals, according to statements released in Shanghai on Wednesday from firms involved.

UnionPay faces rising competition from third-party payment service providers including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., while foreign firms such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are also eyeing the Chinese market. The nation’s mobile payment transactions jumped 134 percent to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.6 trillion) in 2014, according to the central bank.

The bracelet shown at a press briefing in Shanghai can be used for payments in shopping malls, supermarkets and subways. It was jointly developed with Industrial Bank and Chengdu Ledong Information Technology Co., the firm with sports app Codoon.com. The device works with terminals that use so-called near-field communcation technology.

Shanghai-based UnionPay has issued 5.4 billion credit and debit cards, on which users made transactions totaling 11.8 trillion yuan in the first quarter, President Shi Wenchao said at the briefing. That included payments and transfers.

— With assistance by Jun Luo

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