‘Apple Pay’ mobile payment platform launching in China

Apple will be rolling out its mobile payment platform service ‘Apple Pay’ in China as early as next year.

The California-based tech giant is partnering with UnionPay – China’s only bank-card issuer – to make the service available.

Apple won’t be alone though and it will face stiff competition entering a market dominated by Tencent’s WeChat Payment and Alipay.

In a statement the company said: “Apple Pay will roll out to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016 after relevant tests and certification required by Chinese regulators, with the service itself in compliance with the applicable national mobile payment and financial industry standards in China.”

Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay on iPhone.

Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay, said: “China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry,”

He added: “We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said: “Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad.”

He added: “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.”

UnionPay currently has complete control of the credit card market in China, not only because it is state-controlled, but also because it has a monopoly on processing bank-card payments in the country.

However, a couple of months ago the Chinese State Council said that other processing companies such as Visa and MasterCard could apply to operate bank-card processing in China.

Paying with Apple Pay only requires the touch of a finger. In stores, there’s no need to open an app or wake the device’s display. With the NFC antenna design, users just have to hold iPhone near China UnionPay’s QuickPass-enabled POS terminals with their finger on Touch ID® to pay.