Alibaba Stories November 25, 2015

Following Monday’s report that Apple is planning to launch Apple Pay in China in February of next year, Bloomberg reports that it has reached a preliminary agreement with UnionPay to use its card-processing terminals. The agreement was an essential step along the way as UnionPay has a monopoly on card-processing in China.

The agreement is provisional, as it still requires the individual banks to agree. They have reportedly been reluctant to agree to the 0.15% cut Apple takes of each transaction. Given the transaction volumes involved, that soon adds up to a significant chunk of the tiny percentage banks charge retailers.

That isn’t the only hurdle Apple needs to overcome …  expand full story

Alibaba Stories September 18, 2015

Apple is one step closer in its plans to take Apple Pay into the company’s second-largest market, China. The WSJ reports that Apple has created a company in the Shanghai free-trade zone specifically to operate its Apple Pay business in the country, and seeded it with $13.4M of capital.

The Apple Inc. entity, named Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd., was registered in the city’s free-trade zone on June 10, according to the Shanghai government’s company-registration database. Its business operations include technical consulting, services and system integration in the field of payments, the database showed.

With China already a bigger market for Apple than Europe, and looking set to overtake the USA in size, the potential for Apple Pay in the country is huge. Mobile payment is already widely accepted in China, with more than 300 million people using Alipay, the mobile wallet service created by ecommerce giant Alibaba …  expand full story

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Alibaba Stories May 26, 2015

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

expand full story

Alibaba Stories February 17, 2015

We learned last fall that Apple plans to bring Apple Pay to China by partnering with UnionPay. Code found within iOS pointed to Apple preparing its mobile payment service for China while MarketWatch reported Apple was working on a deal with the institution. Several months later, however, MarketWatch now reports that Apple is “struggling with its relationship with UnionPay,” adding that Apple has not yet established an agreement it hoped to reach by March. expand full story

Alibaba Stories December 10, 2014

Alipay updated w/ Touch ID amid talk of potential Apple-Alibaba partnership

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Wall Street Journal: Digital conference in October, claimed that he would be entering discussions with Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, about a potential partnership with the Chinese e-commerce company. It was speculated at the time that any partnership would likely be centered upon the integration of Apple Pay and Alipay for mobile payments on Alibaba, Taobao and Tmall.

Amid the speculation, China Daily was first to report that Alibaba has updated its Alipay app for iPhone and iPad today with Touch ID support. Alipay users with an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus will now be able to use their fingerprint instead of a password when making mobile payments on the latest version of the app, which is a step closer to the way that Apple Pay works in the United States.

Alibaba Stories November 11, 2014

The potential partnership between Apple and Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba could facilitate a far more rapid rollout of Apple Pay in the country than if Apple goes it alone, suggests a piece in the WSJ. Tim Cook first revealed that he was in talks with the company at the WSJ Digital conference last month.

One possible scenario is for Alibaba’s financial affiliate, which owns the Alipay electronic-payment business in China, to provide back-end services for Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple Pay using the money from their Alipay accounts, Mr. Tsai said.

Such an arrangement would be significant for two reasons …  expand full story

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