APPLE PAY NOW AVAILABLE IN CHINA
After undergoing a variety of changes, Apple Pay finally come online in Chinese electronic payment market on February 18, 2016. Yesterday Apple officially announced that Apple Pay payments service was available to Chinese customers, and China has been added to the list of supported Apple Pay countries alongside the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Now Chinese iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch users can make purchases within this app using both China UnionPay credit and debit cards.
As a mobile payment service and digital wallet service released by Apple Inc. in December 2014, Apple Pay allows users to make payments for goods and services with their iPhones in retail stores using a near field communication (NFC) chip built into their iPhones. Though Apple has announced its preparations to launch Apple Pay payments service in China in December of the last year, this payment service did take a quite long time to get the access to China market. Since more and more Chinese users are using smartphones, digital wallet become a popular way to pay for online and offline goods or services. Though Apple owns a large amount of users who can be the potential customers of Apple Pay, it also faces the challenge of formidable China-based competitors, namely Alibaba’s AliPay and Tencent’s WeChat Payment.
Alibaba and Tencent payment systems have been used for many years, and they have garnered considerable user base. Both Alipay and WeChat Wallet can be used for more things, like money transfers, and their electronic paying methods (like using QR code) can reach a wider market, while Apple can only be used for retail point-of-sale and possibly App Store transactions so far, and its NFC payment method are not suitable for those retail points who have not NFC-compatible machines. But Apple Pay seems to be more convenient for users to make payments, comparing with Alipay and WeChat Wallet. Apple Pay users can double-click on the Home button to pop up default bank card, close to the payment terminals and input password or Touch ID.