Apple Pay Seemingly Nearing Launch in China With UnionPay

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A pair of new videos appear to show Apple Pay working with UnionPay bank cards in China for both in-store and in-app purchases.

Apple-Pay-UnionPay
In the first video, a customer appears able to select a UnionPay card in Apple Pay and hold his iPhone near a QuickPass-enabled Verifone payment terminal to complete a purchase at McDonald's. The terminal says "transaction completed" and the self-checkout kiosk proceeds to print a paper receipt.


The second video appears to show an iPhone user selecting a UnionPay card in Apple Pay and making an in-app purchase within Chinese travel app Ctrip. The transaction looks to be secured with Touch ID and approved. The veracity of either of the two videos cannot be confirmed, but the timing makes sense.


Last month, Apple announced that Apple Pay will expand to China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay, a state-run interbank network that holds a monopoly on the country's credit and debit card processing. UnionPay cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad -- the latter for in-app purchases only.

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

China will be the fifth country to adopt Apple Pay since its U.S. launch in October 2014. The mobile payments service expanded to the United Kingdom in July 2015, followed by Australia and Canada last November in partnership with American Express. Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain will gain support later this year.

Apple Pay may officially launch in China by February 8, the first day of the Spring Festival.

(Thanks, Jarod!)

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

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59 months ago
Finally. Im delighted since I can't get my UnionPay card working on my AliPay account.

Too many [____]Pay services.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago
The first day of Chinese New Year ("Spring Festival") is usually a public holiday in a lot of countries and it's also, of course, a bank holiday. I don't think launching an important product on this day is smart.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

Finally. Im delighted since I can't get my UnionPay card working on AliPay account.

Too many [____]Pay services.

ID problems? (assuming with a name like Robert Goulden you won't have a chinese ID)

Are merchants equipped with NFC capable readers in China like they are in the UK, Canada, and Australia? You know, where almost every merchant has one...

i can't speak for every city in China, but in Shenzhen they're almost everywhere. more so than in the UK even a couple of years into "contactless". you could go weeks without seeing a non-quickpass enabled card reader. you could also easily go months without seeing someone use that feature, however. i can't recall ever seeing someone ahead of me use contactless on a card reader (i have used it myself a couple of times, but only ever in burger king and mcdonalds which also recently got new card readers).

the only problem might be the workflow with many of these (with the exception of burger king and mcdonalds which work very much like back in the UK). currently it's insert card -> merchant enters amount -> enter pin -> sign. not sure if it'll work everywhere (straight away) with the desired merchant enters amount -> apple pay -> no need to sign.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

The first day of Chinese New Year ("Spring Festival") is usually a public holiday in a lot of countries and it's also, of course, a bank holiday. I don't think launching an important product on this day is smart.

i think by "by" they mean "before" and not "on".
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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