Chinese Phone Giant Xiaomi Tests Mobile Wallet That Pays Interest
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Chinese phone giant Xiaomi has introduced a new wrinkle on the mobile wallet: A portable account that bears interest.
Xiaomi President Bin Lin offered details of the new beta program Tuesday, during a Connector Event presentation in Beijing sponsored by Tencent and Re/code. Phone users in China can earn an interest rate of 3.058 percent on money transferred from their bank accounts to their mobile wallets.
A handful of financial institutions have partnered with Xiaomi on its test of an interest-bearing, money-market-like fund — though Lin said the phone maker has no desire to get into the banking business. Rather, he described the mobile wallet as a service to its customers.
Xiaomi marketing executive Tony Wei said the product is similar to an online money-market fund offered by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Yu’e Bao is China’s biggest money-market fund in terms of assets under management, according to Reuters. It launched in 2013 through a partnership between fund manager Tianhong and Alibaba’s online payments platform, Alipay.