Xiaomi has been rumored to launch a payments service in China for some time now, and the vendor has announced today that it is partnering with China UnionPay over the service. There's no mention of a timeline, but Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun told Xinhua that the service will be an NFC-based solution.

It makes sense for Xiaomi to come up with its own payments service, as the vendor sells a series of lifestyle products in addition to phones and tablets. Its latest phones — the Redmi Note 3 and the Mi 5 — offer fingerprint sensors that can be used to authenticate payments. The vendor has teamed up with NXP earlier this year to enable mobile payments using the Mi 5 at public transit stations across the country.

However, Xiaomi will face an uphill battle in this segment, as it will not only have to go up against local players like Alibaba and Tencent, but will also have to compete with Samsung Pay and Apple Pay in the country.