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Additional ATMs Planned for World Expo
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Shanghai will set up more ATM machines in small stores, make cross-bank transactions easier and debut a chip-based bank card for small electronic payments to improve its bankcard system, officials said yesterday.

"Several high-level events are coming to Shanghai such as the 2007 Special Olympics, the Beijing Olympic Games and the World Expo 2010," said city vice mayor Feng Guoqin. "The local electronic payment system has to be upgraded."

By the end of 2007, the number of POS (point of sales) machines in the city is expected to hit 100,000, compared with 84,000 by the end of last year. Purchases made with bankcards will account for 38 percent of retail sales in the city, a rise of three percentage points from last year, officials said.

More than 75 percent of stores with annual sales topping 500,000 yuan (US$65,789) or more than 100 square meters in retail space, should be able to accept bankcards by the end of 2007, a 12 percentage points' jump from the end of last year. That rate will hit 90 percent by the end of 2008, according to the Shanghai Municipal Informatization Commission.

"The new POS machines will be mainly installed in tourism sites, schools, hospitals and stores within 500 meters of gyms or athletic centers," said Liu Jian, vice director of the IT commission.

Meanwhile, the local IT commission, China UnionPay, and the Shanghai Headquarters of the People's Bank of China are working together on an integrated circuit-based bank card with touch-less payment functions and higher levels of security standards.

Today's related report:

Ukraine First to Sign World Expo Contract

World Expo Shanghai organizers today signed the participation contract with Ukraine, the first one among the 138 confirmed participants, making Ukraine's inter-government promise into a legal text.

To participate in World Expo, countries, regions and international organizations should first confirm to attend the event after receiving the invitations from the organizers, then sign the participation contracts so as to start pavilion construction.

Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, signed the contract with Valeriy Pyatnitskyy, Ukraine's vice minister of Economy, on behalf of the Chinese government.

Hong said World Expo Shanghai is a new communication platform for the Sino-Ukraine relationship. The organizers hoped that Ukraine could display a splendid national pavilion.

Hong also said that China would keep its promises in the contract and provide high-quality services to the participants.

More than 30 countries, including Canada, Australia and Japan, have been undergoing the technical negotiation of the contracts with the organizers.

As one of the earliest participants in the Expo, Ukraine sets the theme of its national pavilion as "city from ancient to modern." The country will exhibit the unique Ukrainian culture and history by introducing its traditions as well as high-tech development in cities and towns.

More participants are expected to sign the contracts in November when the second participants meeting to be held in town in November.

(Shanghai Daily May 23, 2007)

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