Mobile Commerce

The Mobile Pay Option That Pays Back

Chinese electronics company Xiaomi is putting its money where its — well, where its wallet is.

During a Connector Event presentation in Beijing on Tuesday (March 17), Xiaomi President Bin Lin introduced a new aspect of the company’s mobile wallet: when users in China transfer money to it from their bank accounts, they can earn an interest rate of 3.058 percent.

As reported by Re/code (which co-sponsored the event), Lin was careful to express that the interest-bearing feature of the Xiaomi mobile wallet is not an indication that the company has plans to move into the banking business. He stated that the mobile wallet is simply a service to its customers.

Additionally, Lin said that Xiaomi does not yet have plans in place to fold (or unfold?) its mobile wallet into a mobile payments program like Apple Pay.

“In China, it isn’t consumer behavior to pay with a phone-swiping yet,” he explained to Re/code founder Walt Mossberg during the presentation.

Although Xiaomi is a relatively young company, Re/code notes, it dominates the smartphone market in China and is the most valuable technology startup in the world, currently appraised at $46 billion.

In addition to its mobile wallet, Xiaomi has a stake in other technologies, like a smartphone-connected fitness band and a high-storage-capacity multimedia television.

According to Lin, says Re/code, the first breakthrough Chinese product will reach America in three to five years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he believes that it will be one of Xiaomi’s: its big-screen smartphone, the Mi Note.

Re/code points out that before Xiaomi can enter the U.S. marketplace, however, it will need to put in place a call-center support infrastructure for online buyers.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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