SEOUL, Feb.16 (Korea Bizwire) – Apple’s Apple Pay mobile payment service will launch in China on February 18. Samsung is hoping to follow shortly with its Samsung Pay service, and is currently wrapping up negotiations with Chinese partners, adding a sense of tension to the Chinese mobile payment market.
According to Chinese media, Apple Pay will launch at 5 a.m. on February 18. China will be the fifth country in the world to adopt Apple Pay after the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Canada, and the first in Asia.
Apple is launching the new payment service in partnership with 15 Chinese banks.
The American tech giant’s rival Samsung is also partnering with Union Pay, the largest credit card company in China, and is preparing to launch its Samsung Pay service within the first half of the year.
Officials at Samsung Electronics say that they are in the last stages of discussions related to specific technological requirements necessary to realize the service, and are confident that Samsung Pay will soon be launched in the Chinese market.
As a result, fierce competition is predicted in the Chinese market, where local businesses have already conquered the mobile payment market. Currently, Alibaba’s Ali Pay has a 70 percent share of the market, and Ten Cent’s Chaiputung, which uses the Weixin platform, holds most of the balance with a 19 percent share.
Ali Pay and Chaiputung have been preparing for the past year to combat the new incursions from Apple and Samsung, expanding the scope of their services to parking, food purchases, hotel tickets, convenience stores and supermarkets, and attracting new customers.
Apple is emphasizing the security of Apple Pay. Apple officials comment that the payment data is encrypted when it is sent to the banks, and payments are made directly to merchants, minimizing the risk of personal information exposure.
Samsung is hoping that Samsung Pay’s versatility will appeal to smartphone users, as payments can be made through a magnetic reader as well as using Near Field Communication (NFC). Samsung officials say that Samsung Pay should work at most stores in China as their system is compatible with most POS (Point of Sale) devices.
Wang Yanhui, the chief secretary of an industry organization, says that competition will become even fiercer with Apple and Samsung entering the market. “If 2015 was the year of fingerprint verification, 2016 will be the year of the mobile pay market,” he noted.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)