99 Wuxian and China UnionPay ink deal for cloud POS platform

A partnership between Australian-listed m-commerce player 99 Wuxian and Chinese bankcard company China UnionPay will see the launch of a new cloud-based point-of-sale platform in 2015.

Australian-listed mobile commerce company 99 Wuxian has signed a deal with Chinese bankcard association China UnionPay to launch a new cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) platform.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed mobile commerce company, which operates a mobile online marketplace in China, told shareholders on October 28 that the new payment platform would be jointly developed, maintained, and promoted by the two companies.

"This is a landmark agreement, as China UnionPay is the only bankcard organisation and interbank network in China," 99 Wuxian said in a statement (PDF).

99 Wuxian said that China UnionPay has more than 4.5 billion bank cards under issue and more than 400 Chinese and overseas associate members, and its cards can be used in 141 countries and regions around the world.

The platform, which will be accessible directly from the internet, will employ communication protocol technology previously developed by China UnionPay for POS control of hardware.

According to 99 Wuxian, the POS platform will be compatible with a wide range of operating systems, POS hardware, and mobile devices. It will also be embedded with a number of service application modules available on the 99 Wuxian Market Platform.

"This landmark agreement builds on 99 Wuxian's strong track record of historical cooperation and performance with China UnionPay," said 99 Wuxian chief executive Amalisia Zhang. "99 Wuxian and China UnionPay are now actively working on deploying their integrated resources and technology capabilities through the POS chain to drive both online and offline channels."

The development of the new cloud-based platform is also expected to accelerate the development of 99 Wuxian's O2O model, which is designed to attract online users and direct them to physical stores offline.

The company hopes to tap into additional business opportunities through the development of the platform by initiating and implementing mobile marketing services off the back of the infrastructure.

"In addition, big data collected from offline consumption activities will also enable and facilitate targeted online sales and marketing activity," the company said. "There is also the potential to utilise QR code scans and NFC ... applications as part of this new initiative."

Revenue from the platform is expected to be drawn on a per-transaction basis once it is operational, which is expected to occur next year.

In September, 99 Wuxian inked a joint venture agreement with Australian NFC startup Tapit Media, with the Chinese company moving to own around 55 percent of the joint venture under the deal.

Tapit said in a statement at the time that the joint venture aimed to "revolutionise Chinese m-commerce and offline media by integrating [NFC]-enabled interactive offline marketing campaigns with 99 Wuxian's platform".