Beijing Business Today, 8/14/17
Beijing's subway system today launched support for NFC payments across all of its subway lines.
The Yikatong mobile public transportation smart card app, which supports NFC technology, can now be used for payments. The NFC payment solution is compatible with 160 smartphones from companies like Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, Nubia, OnePlus, and Meizu. As Apple has not yet opened its NFC functionality to the public transportation authorities in China, Apple users will be unable to make NFC subway payments.
While all phones must be equipped with NFC functionality to make payments, each smartphone model uses one of two methods for activating the service. For example, smartphones like the Xiaomi 5s and Huawei P10 are manufactured with chips that already support NFC use for public transport. These users need only download the Yikatong app in order to activate their chip for use. Users of other types of smartphones will need to go to their carrier store and have their original SIM card replaced with an NFC-SIM that can then be activated with the Yikatong service.
Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "Beijing's Fangshan Subway Line Begins NFC Payment Pilot," MD 6/26/17 issue.