Apple Pay to debut in smartphone mecca China next year

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Inc partners with UnionPay to launch payment service in China.

Apple Inc said on Thursday it had partnered with China UnionPay to launch payment service Apple Pay in China for China UnionPay cardholders by early 2016. “China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services in a statement. China is already Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. (its revenue there jumped an impressive 99 percent to $12.51 billion in last reported quarter). The deal may give a boost to Apple Pay, which lets users pay for goods by holding a mobile device near a credit card reader; Apple Pay can now support credit, debit, store and loyalty cards. Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WePay, which is available through WeChat (China’s most popular messaging app) are already widely used for both online and offline purchases. If a partnership does happen, it would give Apple Pay a significant boost in China because Alipay has about 350 million users, but there have been no announcements since Cook and Ma supposedly met last year.

Internationally, many consumers are more habituated to mobile payments, especially in countries where smartphone usage became the norm first instead of PCs. Like in this country the transition will take some time.” It’s unclear how many stores in China will accept Apple Pay when the service begins in early 2016.

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