Apple Pay to enter China via partnership between Apple, China UnionPay

Apple Pay is about to enter the booming Chinese market thanks to a partnership between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and China UnionPay Co., Ltd., the operator of China’s only national electronic payment network, announced today.

Apple Pay is set to become available to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016 pending relevant tests and certification required by Chinese regulators. The service itself is in compliance with the applicable national mobile payment and financial industry standards in China, Apple noted in its statement.

China UnionPay cardholders will be able to easily add their bank cards to Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad, benefiting from added convenience and security to everyday shopping.

China UnionPay’s QuickPass and Apple Pay together will serve to protect customer payment information thanks to payment tokenization technology. When one adds a credit or debit card, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in a dedicated chip called the Secure Element on the device. Each transaction is also authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay, said,

“China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry. We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said,

“Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad. China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.”

For the official announcement from Apple, click here.

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