Alibaba’s Alipay adds Apple Touch ID support

“Alibaba and Apple, whose bosses expressed an interest in marrying their respective mobile e-payments platforms last month, have moved from flirting to dating. Alibaba’s Alipay payments affiliate announced yesterday that it will allow users to authenticate their accounts with the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor instead of a password, indicating a deepening relationship between the two companies,” Adam Pasick reports for Quartz.

“Alipay, which has more than 300 million users, most of whom are in mainland China, said that the newly released version of its iOS app will allow iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus users to activate the fingerprint payment function immediately, according to a report by China Daily,” Pasick reports. “The new function would not necessarily require any new agreement between Alipay and Apple. The latest version of the iOS software allows third-party app developers to access the iPhones’ Touch ID fingerprint reader.”

Read more in the full article here.

13 Comments

    1. While this makes it closer to Apple Pay, this is NOT yet using Apple Pay, AliPay has only been allowed to use the Touch ID sensor to authenticate the user. When Alibaba users want to pay for something, they still have to launch the AliPay app and pay from there. ApplePay is in no way involved in this transaction.

      1. It should be mentioned here that this is an exception to the rules – developers are not permitted (according to the rules) to use the fingerprint sensor for anything not included by Apple. The fact that Apple has made such an exception here is very significant (and, for some of us, somewhat annoying).

  1. This makes perfect sense. Apple is using TouchID and Apple Pay to enhance the value of the iPhone. Since Apple is not really making the money on the service itself, there is no reason to prevent others from accessing TouchID for payments. It only makes the iPhone more attractive to more people. Mr. Cook is one smart dude.

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