Apple Pay Now In China
Apple has dominated the Chinese smartphone mark for a while now. However, the launching of Apple Pay in the mainland still came as quite a surprise for many. Mainly, because two bog local payment systems: Alipay and WeChat are strong competitors to anyone who may want to enter the market.
However, the iPhone giant is optimistic.
“We think China could be our largest Apple Pay market”, vice president of the service Jennifer Bailey tells Reuters.
Apple will launch Apple Pay in alliance with China’s stare-owned bank card system Union Pay and starting from this very week, consumers in China will be able to start paying with their Apple Wallets. Unlike the two local payment systems that allow users to pay for goods and services by scanning barcodes and QR codes – while Apple Pay is based on reading NFC (Near Field Communication) tags.
According to a number of reports, about 20 mainland lenders will be supporting Apple Pay, including ICBC – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
Apple’s optimism regarding the launch in China is understandable. It is estimated that over 68% of the mainland population are smartphone owners – and digital wallets are quickly becoming popular when paying for goods and services, as well in-app purchases.
Will Apple Pay be able to claim the pedestal as the most popular mobile payment system in China or will it just take a smaller niche dwarfed by the already well-developed competitors like Alipay and WeChat?
There are a few things to consider.
Analyst Bryan Ma from the research firm IDC tells BBC: “Alibaba and Tencent payment systems are used for more things, like money transfers, whereas Apple Pay might be limited to just retail point-of-sale and possibly App Store transactions for now.”
At the same time, the analyst points out that the company’s brand may propel its popularity in big cities all by itself – claiming the same customer base who are willing to drop the big bucks on Apple products.
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