Beijing Subway Pushes Smartpass

Caixin: Beijing Subway Wants to Go Cardless
Beijing’s subway authorities are trying to get more people to use their smartphones to pay for metro fares amid the explosion in China’s digital payments market.

As far back as 2013, subway stations across the capital were equipped with the technology to accept mobile phone payments, but only 1 million commuters — a fraction of the passengers who take the metro every day — have used the service so far.

One reason for the feature’s low popularity is that it requires mobile phones to have a special SIM card with embedded NFC (near-field communication) technology.

Since last year, more phone makers have been adding an NFC component to their handsets. Now, there are more than 160 phone models that can be used for card-free payments and don’t require the user to buy a special SIM card.

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