Apple, Samsung tie up with UnionPay to launch mobile payment services in China in 2016

Apple, Samsung tie up with UnionPay to launch mobile payment services in China in 2016

According to reports, bigwig smartphone manufacturers Apple and Samsung Electronics have worked out separate deals with China’s biggest payment and clearing network China UnionPay Co., to launch their competing mobile payments systems -- Apple Pay and Samsung Pay respectively -- in the country in 2016.

The tie-ups which Apple and Samsung have reached with UnionPay are noteworthy as the deals will extend the companies’ rivalry in the emerging ‘mobile payments’ arena to China, the biggest market in the world. UnionPay is China’s state-controlled consortium which has a monopoly on all yuan payment cards which are issued and used in the country.

As a result of their separate deals with UnionPay, Apple and Samsung will pose a potential challenge to Chinese mobile-payments providers including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd, which respectively offer Alipay and Tenpay mobile payment services.

The Apple Pay and Samsung Pay mobile payment services use different technologies. The key difference between the two services is that Apple Pay utilizes near-field communication (NFC) to allow users to pay for purchases by tapping their compatible devices with stored bank-card information on a device at cash registers; while Samsung Pay uses NFC, along with the traditional magnetic stripe reading technology.

About the imminent availability of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay mobile payment services in China, Apple and Samsung have revealed that they will start offering their mobile-payment tools to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016, after the requisite tests and certification by Chinese regulators.

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