Apple Pay is one of the most hyped mobile payment solutions in existence today. Truth be told, Apple is a major name in the world of mobile devices, and the company is known to create and deliver quality products and services. But that does not necessarily Apple Pay will ever become a success, even though the service could launch in China as soon as February 2016.
Mobile Payment Market In China is Crowded
There seems to be an unwritten saying in the world of finance: “once your company or service launches in China, it is destined for greatness”. Some people feel this statement is true, whereas other, more realistic experts know that China is a double-edged blade. Apple is planning to launch its mobile payment solution in the country early next year, but whether or not this goes off without a hitch, remains to be seen.
One thing to note is how Apple Pay will be facing stiff competition in China, as the mobile payment ecosystem is quite crowded in this country. Not only is there Alibaba’s Alipay to take into account, but WeChat has been making a lot of headlines over the past 12 months as well. Especially this latter competitor could be of great concern to Apple as the WeChat has recently partnered with Western Union.
But that is not all, as China’s UnionPay service is keeping a tight control of bank cards. One could even go as far as saying UnionPay has a near-monopoly on bank-issued payment cards for the time being, and it will be a difficult task for Apple Pay to gain a foothold in this country.
In fairness, China remains one of the most promising markets for Apple as a whole, as long as the local demand for iPhones remains as high as it is right now. This also creates an interesting incentive for Apple, as they will need to ensure all of their NFC-capable device need to be able to use Apple Pay as soon as possible.
According to the information posted by WSJ, Apple managed to strike a deal with the four main state-run banks in China so far. If all things go according to plan – and they rarely do – Apple Pay will become available in China from February 8 forward. However, there is still the matter of regulatory concerns to take into consideration.
Bitcoin Could Prove To Be Superior
While there is a strong demand for Apple devices in China, it remains to be seen whether or not Apple Pay will be of any relevance in the country anytime soon. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has become somewhat of a fan-favorite in China, even though the People’s Bank of China has issued several warnings against usage of this digital currency.
Additionally, all third-party payment providers are discouraged from venturing into the world of Bitcoin and digital currencies. However, that situation could change at any time as Bitcoin trading volume remains high across all Chinese exchanges. Only time will tell which payment method will prevail, but for once, Bitcoin and Apple might be facing a similar uphill battle.
What are your thoughts in the potential launch of Apple Pay in China? Will it have an effect on Bitcoin trading? Let us know in the comments below!