iPhone Users in China Experiencing Issues With Apple Pay [Updated]

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Smartphone users in China are facing a number of system errors trying to sign up for Apple Pay after it was officially released in the country yesterday.

Apple's mobile payment service became available on February 18 through a partnership with China's state-run interbank network, UnionPay. However, it appears that the sheer amount of users attempting to sign up to the platform during the first 24 hours has overloaded the system.

"It kept telling me the phone 'cannot connect to Apple Pay' or the verification for the card is not available when I was linking a bankcard," said one iPhone owner, who did eventually link the card after several attempts but then "could not even open the app" to register another.

Apple initially announced its intention to launch Apple Pay in China in December, with plans to make the service available in early 2016 following the "relevant tests and certification" required by Chinese regulators.

China is Apple's second largest market when it comes to revenue after the americas. Deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China will see 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China eligible for use with Apple Pay.

Update 6:16 AM: Apple has clarified that no official statement was given on the issues, and what has been reported by other sources has been misquoted and mistranslated. Apple says it is making Apple Pay available to Chinese users on a rolling basis throughout the day.

Article Link: iPhone Users in China Experiencing Issues With Apple Pay [Updated]
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
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We had similar issues in the states but everything was worked out. Keep trying.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
If it's true that the system was overloaded due to too many people attempting to sign up, that bodes well for Apple's prospects in China. Heck, I had to wait almost a year for my bank to come on board before I could sign up in the States. Waiting one day isn't bad.
 
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Turnpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2011
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New York City!
The system will have problems because its overloaded due to it's popularity, or it will run smooth because it's less popular than expected, it's always one or the other or something in between- good, bad, and the unexpected. I normally take all stories like this (bugs, glitches, errors) with a grain of salt, as Apple has an amazing track record of unfolding some of the most complicated consumer products and services to customers who have the absolute highest expectations, and usually in the longer term they have an extremely high success rate, and end up having the very best products in their space. I just like reading these stories because I find the process interesting.
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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There's a fair bit of exaggeration in this story, it really should be taken with a pinch of salt...

"Not every business has the incentive to use Apple Pay, unless it can win support from businesses by subsidizing them, like Alipay does," he said. - that's a funny thing to say, when by partnering with unionpay its already in more physical locations than alipay or wechat wallet... eventually it'll end up being as in the UK, when businesses find their card payment hardware up for renewal, it's contactless enabled and therefore it spreads organically whether people like it or not.

the system was overloaded yesterday, but unfortunately i think user error and impatience played a factor. i have a feeling the apple pay system blocks devices if they try and fail too often in a similar way to the escalating blocks on password entry for iphones - i managed to add some cards last night to my watch directly through the watch app, that had been failing before and after on the phone. 24 hours later they all added fine.

some problems i faced probably would not have even been an issue to chinese people - notably, one bank refused to add my card until i tried my name in BLOCK CAPITALS... and another card still to this moment refuses to add, but i think that's the card's fault (it's a supplementary credit card) and i got around it by just adding my wife's main card anyway.
 

American Hero

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Jan 25, 2016
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The system will have problems because its overloaded due to it's popularity, or it will run smooth because it's less popular than expected, it's always one or the other or something in between- good, bad, and the unexpected. I normally take all stories like this (bugs, glitches, errors) with a grain of salt, as Apple has an amazing track record of unfolding some of the most complicated consumer products and services to customers who have the absolute highest expectations, and usually in the longer term they have an extremely high success rate, and end up having the very best products in their space. I just like reading these stories because I find the process interesting.
Tim, is that you?
 
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JGIGS

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Jan 1, 2008
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From my understanding of Apple pay (since we don't have it in Canada yet) it only works with companies debit/credit terminals who are set up for Apple pay. If it doesn't work with every terminal as just a tap and pay why bother dealing with? It's actually faster for me to just pull out my tap and pay CC or debit card and not worry if a retailer supports apple pay. Such a half baked feature.
 
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American Hero

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From my understanding of Apple pay (since we don't have it in Canada yet) it only works with companies debit/credit terminals who are set up for Apple pay. If it doesn't work with every terminal as just a tap and pay why bother dealing with? It's actually faster for me to just pull out my tap and pay CC or debit card and not worry if a retailer supports apple pay. Such a half baked feature.
It works with NFC. So it works on the same terminals as those where you can tap and pay.Hence, Tim Cook saying it'll work anywhere you can see the contactless logo.
 
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JGIGS

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Jan 1, 2008
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It works with NFC. So it works on the same terminals as those where you can tap and pay.Hence, Tim Cook saying it'll work anywhere you can see the contactless logo.
From my understanding it's not valid with every retailer with NFC or maybe retailers can block it? So it doesn't work at some like Walmart etc. and if that's the case it's I stand by my half baked feature comment.
 

American Hero

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Jan 25, 2016
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From my understanding it's not valid with every retailer with NFC or maybe retailers can block it? So it doesn't work at some like Walmart etc. and if that's the case it's I stand by my half baked feature comment.
Retailers can certainly shut off NFC capabilities on their terminals, but that would prevent Android Pay, Apple Pay, and contactless cards from working on those terminals. Apple Pay is just a special name for NFC payment.
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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From my understanding it's not valid with every retailer with NFC or maybe retailers can block it? So it doesn't work at some like Walmart etc. and if that's the case it's I stand by my half baked feature comment.
You're understanding it wrong.
 

nok123

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2009
14
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Based in Shanghai and I registered on Friday February 19th with my Bank of China Union Pay debit card. So far, I've used it twice at Starbucks. A few observations: Surprised that Starbucks is accepting Apple Pay (don't think they have started accepting it in the US). I was impressed that the Starbucks staff knew exactly what to do when I asked to use Apple Pay (which may mean that it's already being used widely. Also, I was surprised I needed to enter in my PIN (and the Starbucks staff made it clear it was required).

Bottom line for me: Impressive start, looking forward to trying it out at more stores here in China! In my experience, young Chinese consumers love trying out something new/innovative and it looks like Apple Pay is no exception.
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,436
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Based in Shanghai and I registered on Friday February 19th with my Bank of China Union Pay debit card. So far, I've used it twice at Starbucks. A few observations: Surprised that Starbucks is accepting Apple Pay (don't think they have started accepting it in the US). I was impressed that the Starbucks staff knew exactly what to do when I asked to use Apple Pay (which may mean that it's already being used widely. Also, I was surprised I needed to enter in my PIN (and the Starbucks staff made it clear it was required).

Bottom line for me: Impressive start, looking forward to trying it out at more stores here in China! In my experience, young Chinese consumers love trying out something new/innovative and it looks like Apple Pay is no exception.
I found the same today, about having to enter the pin. It's weird compared to only needing to use Touch ID in the UK, but at least I don't need the card with me. I suspect it'll be phased out over time depending on the card and the seller - I've only ever put my pin in in McDonald's once when using quick pass and I didn't have to do it the other day; yet at Burger King today I did.

Yet to spend over 100元 in one go on Apple Pay... So not sure if it will replace signing the receipt at least (most big chains don't make you do it on smaller purchases, ie Starbucks BK McDonald's) - it'll be interesting to see, especially as I won't have a signature to show them...
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
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It works with NFC. So it works on the same terminals as those where you can tap and pay.Hence, Tim Cook saying it'll work anywhere you can see the contactless logo.
If the credit card company supports it. For example, even before British banks supported it, Apple Pay worked in the UK with US cards. But once your credit card company supports it, it works with every terminal that supports contactless cards.
 
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