China UnionPay Stories March 3, 2016

Apple Pay looks to have been a big hit in China, Internet Retailer reporting that three million bank cards were activated in the first two days of the launch. Apple had been expecting big numbers, using a gradual rollout of the service on day one, something not well communicated to cardholders.

In the first two days after the Feb. 18 launch, 3 million consumers linked their bank cards to Apple Pay according to China Merchants Bank, one of 19 Chinese banks involved in the rollout.

It’s an impressive number, but with card processor UnionPay having a monopoly on card processing, a single deal by Apple meant the service is available to a staggering total of 5B cards …

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China UnionPay Stories February 19, 2016

Update: Apple has since informed us that the comment by a local representative was not an official statement and has been mistranslated from the Chinese by Caixan. The correct information is that the ability to add cards was being made available on a rolling basis throughout the day. 

With many Chinese iPhone owners reporting they they are unable to register for Apple Pay, an Apple spokesman representative has said the issues are due to too many people trying to sign-up a planned gradual rollout throughout the day. Mashable reports that 38 million bank cards had been linked to Apple Pay by 5pm on launch day, 10M of them registered within the first hour.

Chinese site Caixin cited one example.

“It kept telling me the phone ‘cannot connect to Apple Pay’ or the verification for the card is not available when I was linking a bankcard,” said Duan Ge, a 31-year-old employee of a film production company. Duan said he managed to link his debit card after about 30 minutes of trying, but later when he tried to register another credit card, he “could not even open the app.”

Some had feared that Apple might face an uphill battle in persuading Chinese nationals to use the service, for two reasons …

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China UnionPay 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

China UnionPay Stories April 14, 2015

The launch of Apple Pay in China, originally expected to be part of iOS 8.3, has been delayed by stalled negotiations with both the state-owned card processor UnionPay and Chinese banks, reports MarketWatch. Developers had originally been told that iOS 8.3 would support UnionPay, but found that support was missing when the update rolled out last week.

A UnionPay employee who declined to be named said the company has not reached any agreements with the U.S. tech company, and no timetable for cooperation has been set […]

Those sources also say Apple has not made any breakthroughs in talks with Chinese banks, which would also have to agree for the Apple Pay system to work.

The banks are reportedly unhappy about the cut Apple takes from each transaction …  expand full story

China UnionPay Stories September 2, 2014

Apple is reportedly in talks with department store Nordstrom to join as a partner for the company’s mobile payment system, as noted by Bank Innovation. As has been previously reportedly, Apple is also in talks with several other retailers about the possibility of accepting iPhone-based payments, and has deals in place with MasterCard and American Express as well as Chinese payment processor UnionPay to support the feature.

According to the Bank Innovations report, people familiar with Nordstrom’s systems have confirmed that the company’s current point-of-sale hardware is purchased from Apple and recently received a software update to work “with the latest iPhones.” These devices are said to be the same updated EasyPay systems implemented recently in Apple Stores across the country.

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China UnionPay Stories August 28, 2014

Apple is reportedly planning to include NFC in the iPhone 6 for secure wireless payments using chips sourced from a Dutch company called XNP, the Financial Times reported today. It’s not the first time this rumor has cropped up before an iPhone launch, but other recent reports seem to indicate that this year it might just be happening.

In fact, earlier this year Apple was said to have reached a deal with China UnionPay, the nation’s only domestic mobile payment processor, to include NFC support at countless retailers in the next iPhone. What’s perhaps even more interesting is that the technology may not be limited solely to the handset itself…

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