Apple Pay expands further following deal with Chinese bank UnionPay
Apple Pay is coming to China after the iPhone maker signed a deal with Chinese bank UnionPay to allow cardholders to add their accounts to Apple Pay across iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
The service will begin rolling out to UnionPay cardholders early next year, following the completion of certain tests and certifications requested by the Chinese authorities.
State-controlled UnionPay is China’s main bank card and payment provider, having a monopoly on all payment cards issued and used in the country that use the nation’s yuan currency. UnionPay cards can be used in more than 26 million merchants and 1.9 million ATMs across China, opening up Apple Pay to a huge potential new customer base.
“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,” said Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay. “We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”
The launch marks the latest step forward by Apple in extending its business across China. Having initially been hostile to the company’s products, Apple finally signed a deal to sell iPhones in the country in December 2013, five years after the first device went on sale in the West.
This move has had a huge effect on Apple’s global sales, and the company will be hoping for a similar sized return with Apple Pay.
Since its launch in July, over 250,000 stores in the UK have pledged their support for Apple Pay, with nearly all the country’s major banks now also making their services available.
“Apple Pay has revolutionised 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.”
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