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SmarTone’s Kiss of death to cash payments

By NexChange

Hong Kong mobile operator SmarTone has elbowed its way into the payments space with the launch of a new service called “Kiss.”

The online-to-offline platform, which took two years to develop, is intended for medium-to-large-sized business, reports the South China Morning Post.

Using Kiss, merchants will be able to connect with their customers through the Kiss Wallet platform that links digital marketing and loyalty programs with data analytics and mobile payments. The first batch of retailers have already signed up and the service will be rolled out in December.

SmarTone is starting with Hong Kong, but the biggest opportunities lie overseas. By licensing out the technology behind the platform to third party network operators, SmarTone hopes to eventually tap other markets, the plump prize of course being Mainland Chinese networks.

New York-based research firm eMarketer predicts mobile e-commerce sales in mainland China will make up 10.9% of all retail sales in the country next year and 55.5% all online retail shopping.

That said, Smartone will be entering a crowded space in China where e-commerce players  like Alibaba Group and have already rolled out their own payments platforms.
Photo: Walt Stoneburner

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