In China, the Alipay app is as good as cash

Everyone accepts Zhifubao, China's answer to Paypal, even street vendors.
Everyone accepts Zhifubao, China's answer to Paypal, even street vendors.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. Apple is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — The common question when conducting any kind of financial transaction in China is: “Cash or Zhifubao?” I have used Alipay in a wide variety of settings — paying for products online or meals at restaurants, sending rent money to my landlord, or squaring up with a taxi driver. It was easy to set up, after I spent all of 15 minutes creating a Chinese bank account at my local branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

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Apple Pay is expanding to mobile websites

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Apple Pay is everywhere.
Apple Pay is everywhere.
Photo: Apple

Using Apple Pay to buy items has been limited to physical retail stores and apps, but Apple is reportedly planning to rollout the service soon to mobile websites, putting it in closer competition with PayPal and other platforms.

The mobile website version of Apple Pay will allegedly be ready in time for the 2016 holiday shopping season. Once launched, the mobile version will allow shoppers to complete purchases using their fingerprint rather than entering credit card info on websites.

Amazon barges into mobile payments ring

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A newspaper story that alleges brutal workplace conditions at Amazon has been the talk of the web.
Pay with Amazon buttons have plenty of ammo given the over 200 million Amazon accounts.
Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon will start taking more advantage of the millions of credit cards it has on file with new “Pay with Amazon” buttons. The expansion to Amazon Payments will allow third-party developers to include these buttons in their mobile apps and have users quickly sign in to process payments. Since all their payment information is already with Amazon, checkout processes should be much speedier without having to reenter everything. It looks like Apple Pay and PayPal need to watch out.

eBay raids Apple for payment talent to work on possible Apple Pay rival

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Apple Pay is awesome, but where do they accept it?
Apple Pay is setting the gold standard for mobile payments. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Post-Apple Pay, everyone is looking to Cupertino when it comes to innovation in the mobile payment sector. eBay is no different — with the online auction company starting up a new division, designed especially to develop payment-related technology.

And wouldn’t you know it? It’s filling it with ex-Apple folk.