Apple finally strikes deal with UnionPay; Apple Pay is coming to China early next year

Apple finally strikes deal with UnionPay; Apple Pay is coming to China early next year
As the lone financial institution in China to handle interbank credit and debit card processing, UnionPay Bank's previous refusal to sign a deal with Apple had prevented mobile payment service Apple Pay from launching in the country. Apple has been trying for some time to get UnionPay on board, but previous attempts had failed.

China is considered a potentially huge source of revenue for Apple Pay because of the large number of iPhone users in the country. Apple allegedly gets .15% of the value of each credit card transaction that uses Apple Pay, so you can see why Apple wants China on board. The tech titan is closer to reaching this goal after announcing on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with UnionPay.

As part of the deal with UnionPay, those holding bank cards issued by the institution will be allowed to add them to Apple Pay. Over 5 billion UnionPay Cards have been issued inside and outside China. As always with the mobile payment service, the actual card numbers are not stored on the Apple Phone, Apple Watch or Apple iPad. Apple Pay and UnionPay's Quick Pass will use tokenization and encryption to keep credit card information safe. Each transaction uses a one-time security code.


Chinese regulators will have to put Apple Pay through the paces to make sure it is in compliance with the mobile payment standards in the country. Apple Pay is expected to launch in China sometime early next year. The service is now offered in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.

source: Apple

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10 Comments

1. Tizo101

Posts: 524; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

like someone really cares.

2. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Apparently there are a lot of iPhone users in China

6. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Well, yeah, but there's last I checked no real incentive for the actual various stores and such to 'upgrade' terminals to ones that support Apple pay, unless suddenly a huge percentage of their users wanted to do that only, and frankly I don't think that's happening. Samsung has the right idea in this aspect of it, making their system backwards compatible to existing terminals, even very old ones is smart, Apple Pay needing terminal upgrade is a problem.

3. jjlovet

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 18, 2015

too late, Alibaba's Alipay already dominate mobile payments qz.com/577375/apple-pay-will-never-match-alipays-p​opularity-in-china/

4. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Well that's great for Apple but now they must convince Chinese banks to support it as well:D

8. AlikMalix unregistered

Knowing Apple - that's should be in the works already and should not be a problem.

5. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well good luck to them. I am curious to know in every country, how many retailers have NFC terminals. In the USA, less than 10% of retailers here have NFC terminals. So even though Apple has the most banks onboard, they still have a huge acceptance problem. Same issue as to by Google Wallet/Android Pay can't be adopted so easily. For me, Android Pay would allow me to add any of the cards I have including my Discover, but I just never have anywhere to use it so I disabled Android Pay. I use Samsung Pay for almost everything even gas as I just go inside now vs paying at the pump. also, in China; even if 5Billion people have cards from this bank or service, how much are they actually buying with them? if they use a card online, Apple gets nothing. It would have to be use at a retailer. Somehow I dont see all those small stands on the street havign credit card readers. I can see it being used by tourists and being use any larger retailers, assuming China has large retail chains as we do, but i dont see many big ticket items being purchase. I see cards being use for ATM and gas usage the most. But best of luck to them.

7. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yup, as mentioned above, Samsung Pay is the smart move, being compatible with more or less any terminal, that's smart needing not just any nfc terminal but one that's made for Apple pay is an expense to the stores that really has no point in being made.

9. AlikMalix unregistered

The problem with that (and trust me I have praised samsungs move with their diverse mobile pay solution), the problem is it slows down the progression at which nfc would take hold because it doesn't force it by giving alternative option. Apple Pay and new android pay (and nfc part of Samsung pay) are all tokenized payments which makes them ultra-secure compared to card swipe (even with security chip). When something this good and convenient and improvement on security comes out - im all for adopting it as quickly as possible. I hope you guys see my point.

10. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Not really last I checked NFC is also supported with Samsung Pay? so its more backwards compatible with those that don't? That said Apple Pay's problem, unless I misunderstood something is that it doesn't work with NFC communication standard and unless that terminal also supports Apple Pay communication it won't work? the terminal alone just having NFC won't make it work with Apple Pay?

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