China Welcomes Apple, Samsung; Australia Says ‘Yes’ to Android Pay, ‘No’ to Apple Pay (Dec. 21, 2015)
Chinese consumers soon will have a sizable selection of m-wallets to choose from as the country is becoming awash with big players in the m-wallet space. Both, Apple and Samsung Electronics, late last week announced deals with China UnionPay, one of the largest payment card brands in the world, to enable consumers to use their payment cards with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Both m-wallets are expected to be available to UnionPay cardholders early next year. Meanwhile, the road continues to be rocky for Apple in Australia, where banks have agreed to work with Android Pay, but not Apple Pay.
The announcements by Apple and Samsung come just days after state-run UnionPay launched its own NFC-based mobile payments service, QuickPass, which boasts acceptance by 25 retail franchises totaling more than 10,000 retail locations in China, with more expected to accept QuickPass soon. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will be accepted at QuickPass-enabled NFC POS terminals.
All three mobile payments system likely are focused on China’s giant retail payments operator Alibaba Group’s Alipay, which has had an m-wallet in the country for a few years, and announced major upgrades to its service more than two years ago. Another competitor that’s already established roots in the country is Tencent, one of China’s largest Internet service portals. Reports estimate China’s mobile payments transactions reached 22.6 trillion yuan (US$3.5 trillion) in 2014.
Meanwhile, Apple Pay has failed to make inroads in Australia, while mobile payments competitor, Google’s Android Pay, recently has received the green light from several Australian banks, including three of the largest banks in the country. The banks on board include ANZ, Westpac, St George, ING DIRECT, Macquarie Bank and Bank of Melbourne, among others. Google said it expects to roll out in mid-2016 in Australia and will have more banks participating by the end of next year. For months, Apple has failed to reach agreements with several Australian banks over the fees Apple collects from partner banks.