Baidu, the Chinese search giant is now adding its own smartphone based payments service to the mix.
China’s smartphone based payments market is already growing at an astounding rate, as $1.6 trillion in transactions were completed over that channel in 2013, but now it is about to become a little bit more competitive as Baidu tosses its own mobile wallet service into the mix of options available for consumers.
This will place the search company in direct competition with other online giants, such as Tencent and Alibaba.
This new mobile wallet will add another key player into the environment for Chinese consumers and merchants, alike. According to the vice president of Baidu, Li Mingyuan, who is responsible for the company’s Mobile and Cloud Business Group, “We saw that developers/partners have needs in retaining users and payment services, which is why we launched Baidu Wallet.”
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The mobile wallet will be completely rolled out by the end of April and will provide competitive services.
The mobile payments option, called the Baidu Wallet, will be available to anyone who wants it by the end of this month. The services that it provides are comparable to those that are already seen in other payments apps that are currently available in the massive Chinese market. It currently makes it possible for consumers to make online purchases, to pay utility and other common bills, and to make interbank transfers at no cost. This is achieved by way of the company’s third party payments solution, Baifubao. Aside from those options, the smartphone wallet will also allow a user to connect with the Baidu money management products – though that option is not yet available in the app.
On the business side of things, companies and mobile app developers will be able to use the SDK for Baidu’s payments services in order to be able to link with online users and consumers from Baidu. That company has stated that its mobile wallet will be providing these services at the lowest fee that can be found within the entire industry, for the first 10,000 that connect themselves with its payments solution.