Adding to the ever growing list of consumer technologies the company is expanding itself into, Xiaomi has today announced the launch of its very own payments service, quite expectedly dubbed, ‘Mi Pay’. This also marks yet another foray by Xiaomi, in a segment where the likes of Apple and Samsung are operating.
However, this isn’t completely surprising. The company already has its own wallet app and recently launched smartphones which have fingerprint scanner. These two were obvious enough to give a hint of Mi pay’s launch, considering both Apple and Samsung had taken similar — if not exactly same — routes. And Xiaomi, is known to launch services, directly competing with these two smartphone giants.
Coming to Mi Pay, the service is based over UnionPay — the Chinese equivalent of Visa — and is currently restricted to some 20 odd domestic banks in China. What’s more interesting though, is the fact that Mi Pay comes with NFC, which will allow users to pay for public transportation trips across China, if of course they have an account with any of the 20 supported Chinese banks. So far the list includes China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank, Huaxia Bank, Minsheng Bank, Ping An Bank, and Industrial Bank. Xiaomi has confirmed that support for the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank, China Everbright Bank, Beijing Bank, and Guangdong Development Bank will be added next month.
However, the downside to this launch is Mi Pay’s availability just Mi 5 flagship right now. And that is even more disappointing, considering that a fingerprint scanner equipped phone like Redmi Note 3 isn’t exactly using that particular feature for much use.
Coming to usage, one can use the app pretty much like all other mobile payment solutions — users can assign credit and debit cards to Mi Pay to make contactless payments with. Also, Mi Pay can store information for upto 8 cards
There’s a side option wherein Mi Pay works with loyalty/gift cards as well, though only a few selected ones.
Apart from this the company also made a quiet launch of its Mi Washing Machine, adding yet another consumer appliance to its ever growing list of the same. The appliance, like all of Xiaomi’s previous ones, works with Mi app and is dirt cheap — $225. Yup.