Chinese banking card network China UnionPay plans to launch a trial of a mobile payment in Shanghai in the second half of the year, according to Yan Qiang, assistant president of the organization. Yan, speaking at a recent 5th-anniversary event held by UnionPay, says the trial will involve 1,000 mobile-payment handsets and several hundred point-of-sale terminals in Shanghai’s Pudong business and residential district, Card Technology’s sister publication CT China reported. UnionPay didn’t disclose the technology the organization planned for the trial, but most observers believe it will involve handsets supporting Near Field Communication. UnionPay was involved in a trial launched last August in Shanghai that included downloads of a loyalty application to Nokia NFC handsets. In an unrelated note, Yan also disclosed UnionPay would help one of China’s largest banks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, to upgrade about 500,000 of the bank’s popular Peony card to credit smart cards that support the Chinese version of the global EMV standard. Some Peony cards already sport a chip to store driver’s information. A magnetic stripe on the cards now stores a debit application. ICBC plans to issue the new credit chip cards in Beijing, although it was not clear just how soon. It will later expand the program to Shanghai and Guangzhou. (In Card Technology 2007-04-09)