Apple is expected to launch Apple Pay in China as soon as February, after reaching agreement with the country’s four major state-run banks and China Unionpay, according to reports.
Apple reportedly is aiming to launch before the Chinese New Year on 8 February. It is unclear, however, what the transaction costs will be or if other regulatory obstacles remain. The deals with the banks allow Apple Pay users to link the service to their bank accounts.
The US firm has agreements in place with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, said The Wall Street Journal. None of the banks commented.
In addition, China UnionPay, the country’s leading payment network which is dominant in credit and debit processing, has reached a preliminary agreement with Apple, said Bloomberg.
China is now Apple’s second largest market after the US. Revenue almost doubled to $12.52 billion year-on-year in the quarter ending 30 September.
Apple Pay launched last week in Canada and Australia, the third and fourth markets after the US and UK to debut the payment service since it was first unveiled a year ago.
However, in Canada and Australia it will be limited to American Express cardholders, at least for the moment. Reports said the US firm struggled to reach agreement with local banks on putting their cards in the Apple Pay wallet.
An Amex representative said its customers in Australia and Canada will be able to use Apple Pay for transactions on iPhones, Apple Watch and iPads this year and in Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.