“China UnionPay Co. and Apple Inc. have reached a preliminary agreement to introduce Apple Pay in China through UnionPay’s point-of-sales network, people familiar with the matter said,” Bloomberg reports. “Details of the agreement are yet to be finalized, pending feedback from banks that issue cards, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Shanghai-based UnionPay, the nation’s largest payment and clearing network, aims to introduce Apple Pay as soon as next year, one of the people said.”
“Apple’s mobile-payment system may help UnionPay and Chinese banks fend off rising competition from third-party payment service providers including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.,” Bloomberg reports. “Apple Pay enables users to pay for purchases by tapping iPhones or Apple Watches with pre-stored bank card information on a device at cash registers. Through the UnionPay accord, the system could be rolled out to more than 5 million point-of-sale machines that are NFC-enabled in China.”
Bloomberg reports, “Still, the two companies have yet to sign agreements with any Chinese banks on linking local bank cards to Apple’s payment service, one of the people said.”
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MacDailyNews Take: It’s like watching snails race through molasses, but when Apple Pay finally arrives in China, it’ll prove to have been well worth the effort.