Watchdata makes Beijing commuters “all-in-one happy”

Public transportation in Beijing just got easier, thanks to a revolutionary new product supplied by Watchdata Technologies. Watchdata’s new SDpassTM now allows millions of capital city residents to use their mobile phones to instantly pay for bus and subway rides, avoiding the long queues to top-up older plastic swipe cards. Beijing residents can also use the convenient system to pay for products and services at retail stores and shopping centers.

The new system was made possible through a collaboration between Watchdata Technologies and the Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Company, which calls the new mobile payment system “eLetong” – a Chinese word that roughly translates as “all-in-one happy electronics”. The SDpassTM technology is part of a family of mobile payment solutions developed by Watchdata, one of the world’s leading data security providers. The new eLetong system with its SDpass technology allows consumers in Beijing to enjoy the convenience of a new generation of mobile payment experiences that are rapidly spreading around the world.

The collaboration between Watchdata and the Beijing Municipal Administration sets a new milestone in mobile payment solutions that turns an ordinary mobile phone into a veritable e-purse. With this solution, users can easily perform near-field payments and remote payments, all without changing their mobile handset or phone number. These transactions can be made seamlessly at a variety of establishments, ranging from small retailers like grocery shops, fast food outlets and drug stores, to large businesses such as supermarkets, shopping malls and new “mobile phone malls”.

The SDpassTM is one of Watchdata’s new generation of mobile payment products. It looks no different than an ordinary SD card, but it has a thin antenna attached. However, unlike a traditional transportation card, the SDpassTM dual interface possesses both contact and contactless features. Its contact interface performs advanced SD storage functions while the contactless interface performs additional radio frequency card functions. The SDpassTM thus combines the features of both an SD storage card and a contactless card, allowing a mobile phone to function as both a telecommunications device as well as a municipal transportation and retail payment card.

The greatest advantage of SDpassTM is in allowing users to make fast, easy mobile payments without having to change their mobile handset or phone number. All they need is a mobile device with a normal SD card slot. SDpassTM also meets user needs for shopping online and supports remote payments for purchases made at mobile phone malls. In this way, its functions are similar to Alipay. However, with SDpassTM, users can conveniently check their balance and top up value anytime, anywhere.

Mobile phone users are rapidly increasing worldwide, providing a widely expanding market for innovative products and solutions. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China has added 30 million new mobile phone users in the first quarter of this year alone, and China’s number of mobile phone users will soon reach 900 million.

In Beijing, as of April 2011, over 42 million municipal transportation cards have been issued, and the system’s 150,000 terminals have conducted 19 billion transactions. This financial activity spans 10 separate industries, with the average number of transactions surpassing 15 million per day, often as high as 17 million.

Watchdata, a leading provider of smart card products and data security solutions for the transportation sector, began its collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Administration as early as 2003, and has been supplying its contactless CPU cards since 2009. With more than 10 million cards issued to date, the relationship has established a strong foundation for in-depth analysis, exploration of market needs, and continuous optimization of products and solutions.

“Watchdata has worked on the SDpassTM technology for three fruitful years, and we are still striving for advancement,” said Larry Lin, Watchdata Director of Trustworthy Computing and Security Payments. “Our dual interface SD card technology has emerged as the easiest to deploy and the most cost-efficient solution. Our repeat success with Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Company is the result of these efforts, and we are glad to set a new milestone for existing mobile equipment payment systems. We are confident in the future achievements of SDpassTM in areas such as banking, transportation and third party payments, and look forward to another winning collaboration.”

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