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China Suspends Alipay, Tencent Mobile Payments and

2014/3/17      view:

The People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank, has suspended the use of mobile payment services whereby customers pay for goods and services using mobile devices by scanning barcodes or QR codes, and halted planned proposals for "virtual" credit cards as a result of security concerns, an official told Xinhua on Friday.

Zhou Jinhuang, vice director of the PBoC's payment and settlement department, said the central bank has issued a notice suspending Tencent and Alipay's online payment services which utilize barcodes and QR codes and any plans for either company to issue "virtual" cards.

China CITIC Bank announced on Tuesday that it would partner with Tencent and Alipay under Alibaba to issue online credit cards based on a payment system which requires customers to scan codes.

Alipay aimed to issue one million virtual credit cards with a minimum credit line of 200 yuan (32.6 U.S. dollars). The service was expected to appear next week on Alipay Wallet, a mobile app that allows users to invest in a wealth management product called Yu'ebao and make online payments by scanning a digital code. Tencent also planned to issue one million such cards.

"It's just a suspension, rather than a prohibition," said Zhou, adding that the decision is aimed at regulating business within the sector and safeguarding consumer interests; rather than targeting any specific company.

The notice said that all payments made by scanning codes or via Tencent or Alipay's online payment services are closely linked to consumers' personal information and capital safety, and therefore need further consideration.