Mainland 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.
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 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.
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.
Apple Pay’s launch in the U.S. next month is being supported by some of the biggest players in the payments industry in the country except PayPal, but according to a report from Banking Innovation, Apple actually wanted PayPal to be the “preferred payment process” for Apple Pay.
Talks between PayPal and Apple began at the early stages of Apple Pay’s development, but after PayPal decided to partner with Samsung on the Galaxy S5, Apple execs got so mad they nuked the talks altogether.