Apple may work with China’s leading issuer of credit cards China UnionPay to offer Apple Pay via NFC (Near Field Communication) supported payment systems with its latest smartphone, the iPhone 6.
The NFC system could challenge the dominance of the QR code popular among Chinese third-party payment services.
The newly announced Apple Pay allows iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
and Apple Watch users to make purchases and transactions with these devices. Credit card issuers such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express have agreed to participate in the scheme while the report said that China UnionPay is also set to take part, which would allow Chinese iPhone 6 users to make purchases with their UnionPay card on their smartphones at any POS machine in the country.
QR codes have been the most popular mobile payment methods adopted by China’s largest third-party payment platforms Alibaba’s Alipay and WeChat’s Tenpay up to now. Users can access information on a product, place their order with the code or scan an order’s code to pay with the services. Since the code’s security issues have not been resolved completely, UnionPay has never launched any commercial application with the code.
The credit card issuer’s previous attempt to launch NFC services with China Mobile on smartphones was not successful. It was only available for a few mobile devices such as the Samsung S3 and S4, the HTC One and the Xiaomi 2A. Apple Pay’s release may change the status quo and make NFC a more mainstream mobile payment service in the country.
Since October, American users who upgrade their iPhone to iOS 8 will be able to use Apple Pay to make payments at various locations such as stores, restaurants, gas stations, Apple stores and at Major League baseball games.