Apple Inc. announced on Friday that it will launch the smartphone-based Apple Pay electronic payment system in China early next year.
The US giant has joined forces with China’s state-owned bankcard association, China UnionPay, to bring the electronic payment system in the second largest economy.
UnionPay, a state-controlled consortium, has a monopoly on all yuan payment cards issued and used in the country.
UnionPay also plans to tie-up with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s payment system, Samsung Pay, the Chinese firm said in a statement on Friday.
“Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,”
said Apple senior vice president of software and services Eddy Cue.
“China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and with support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.”
The system will allow UnionPay cardholders to make payments via Apple iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads. Apple and UnionPay said they have agreements with 15 Chinese banks to support the system.
Nowadays, shoppers around the world are being encouraged to use smartphones instead of cards to pay for in-store purchases.
“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 Chinese electronic payments market is currently dominated by Alipay, an arm of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which accounts for about 80 per cent of transactions in the country.
According to Apple, Apple Pay will roll out to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016 after relevant the tests and certification required by Chinese regulators.