Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps).

"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."
Apple Pay in the country will work with the China UnionPay Quickpass, an existing contactless payment service. Customers will be able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a UnionPay QuickPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal to make a payment at participating stores.

Reaching a deal to bring Apple Pay to China has been a priority for Apple, given China's increasing importance to the company. A partnership between Apple and China UnionPay was first hinted at in February, when the first iOS 8.3 beta introduced support for the China UnionPay network. Talks reportedly stalled later that month, but in the weeks ahead of today's announcement, rumors pointing towards a deal picked up.

A recent rumor has suggested Apple is aiming to launch Apple Pay in China before February 8, 2016, which marks the start of Chinese New Year. According to Apple's press release, the service will be available following "relevant tests and certification" required by Chinese regulators.

Article Link: Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay
 
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SactoGuy18

macrumors 68030
Sep 11, 2006
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Sacramento, CA USA
This is huge for Apple because China UnionPay is one of the fastest-growing brand of credit cards in the world, and it could be extremely useful in much of eastern Asia.

I do think Apple is working on an update to iOS 9.x that may finally add full support for NFC payments that use the NTT docomo Osaifu-Keitai standard. That will make it possible for payment systems like JR East Mobile Suica, Seven & i nanaco, and Rakuten Edy mobile payments to operate through the iPhone 6 and newer models.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to add their bank cards to Wallet for use with Apple Pay on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
I didn't know the Wallet app existed on the iPad...
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
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I didn't know the Wallet app existed on the iPad...
There is no Wallet app on the iPad, but there are Wallet settings available so a credit or debit card can be added for use with Apple Pay within apps. Since that wording appears to have been confusing, I've updated it to be more clear.
 

Cmd-Z

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2014
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Coyote, CA
There is no Wallet app on the iPad, but there are Wallet settings available so a credit or debit card can be added for use with Apple Pay within apps.
I scored an Air 2 last night and was perplexed why I couldn't find the app, now I know!
 

acidsoul

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2011
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Hope it comes to Japan soon,but can't count on it.
Even though the iPhone share is enormous here, Japan's been using felica for contactless payment, which isn't compatible with other NFC standards so I doubt the banks and stores won't be willing to adopt it.

Still, I hope Apple tries to work with them.
 

tmiw

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Jun 26, 2007
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Maybe slightly OT, but I wonder why the US seems to be the only country that doesn't have any UnionPay issuers. Even Canada has one or two IIRC. A bank that decides to issue such cards would make a killing.

(Yes I know about Discover's partnership, but a lot of places in China will refuse to attempt to run the card because there's no UnionPay logo. Not to mention that the EMV chip on the Discover card isn't readable in China--which wouldn't normally be an issue except that terminals there won't let you swipe if the chip read is unsuccessful.)
 

desmond2046

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Jun 2, 2015
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Columbus, OH, United States
Maybe slightly OT, but I wonder why the US seems to be the only country that doesn't have any UnionPay issuers. Even Canada has one or two IIRC. A bank that decides to issue such cards would make a killing.

(Yes I know about Discover's partnership, but a lot of places in China will refuse to attempt to run the card because there's no UnionPay logo. Not to mention that the EMV chip on the Discover card isn't readable in China--which wouldn't normally be an issue except that terminals there won't let you swipe if the chip read is unsuccessful.)
I had no problem using my Discover Card at grocery stores and restaurants when I was in Beijing back in 2013. Is the situation different now?
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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Hong Kong next, please :)
i'm looking forward to using it in hong kong; from what i've seen almost all unionpay terminals seem to accept quickpass...

the only problem might be with the bank's implementation of quickpass. it seems to be treated as a separate account you have to top up to use as intended (an alternative to, say, the 30 pound limit in the UK) - i don't want to have to do that to use apple pay. the implementation in burger king allows you to touch the card to the reader and then enter your pin to access the rest of the funds, though (i've never tried it anywhere else) - so i'm hoping touchid will override this and i'll be able to use apple pay basically everywhere.

i might need a new wallet after the new year :D
 

tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
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San Diego, CA
I had no problem using my Discover Card at grocery stores and restaurants when I was in Beijing back in 2013. Is the situation different now?
I think it's the chip on Discover cards causing the issues now. The terminals in China apparently aren't programmed to read them and don't fall back to swipe very well.
 

StevieD100

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Jan 18, 2014
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Living Dangerously in Retirement



Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps).
So how does this square up with this?????
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35112364

So China Union Pay announce a new QR Code payment system on/near the same time as this?. Doh!

Left Hand: there is a Right Hand around somewhere. Go find it.

Personally, I will never use ANY QR codes. You really have no idea what is contained in the QR Code. Could it cause your details to be sent to some really dodgy pron site? You have no control at all over it. The same goes for those stupid shortened URL's. How do you know that you will end up where you intended to go? You can't.
 

giebe

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2014
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Germany
Still hope to use Apple Pay in Germany soon. One of the most developed countries is so last century when it comes to new technology.
 

macnewbie91

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2015
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I haven't had any chances to use Apple pay for two years yet. Maybe it's because I live in underdeveloped states, us.
Apple Pay has only been out since October 2014, and that's just in the United States. How have you tried Apple Pay before it even existed?
 

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2004
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* ** *,* ** ** * * ** ** ** * Wow UnionPay is ubiquitous. Actually pretty much the only choice. This is colossal. Wonder how much Wechat would stand to lose from this since basically all Chinese use Wechat/UnionPay for taxis, order services and much more.
 
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nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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* ** *,* ** ** * * ** ** ** * Wow UnionPay is ubiquitous. Actually pretty much the only choice. This is colossal. Wonder how much Wechat would stand to lose from this since basically all Chinese use Wechat/UnionPay for taxis, order services and much more.
Until they work out person to person payments I think WeChat still has their sizeable niche in that respect. Alipay has more to lose but Apple is a little late to the game.