Apple’s mobile payment service Apple Pay, which enables secure payments through the use of Cupertino’s mobile devices, will become available in China from tomorrow, bank representatives have revealed on social media.
The representatives are those of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. An Apple spokeswoman has declined to comment on the bank’s claim; however the tech giant had previously announced that the world’s most populous country would get Apple Pay in early 2016. Furthermore, Apple’s China website specifies 19 Chinese lenders as set to offer Apple Pay, while state media has said that two other lenders will join them from February 18.
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As its economy has boomed, China has become the world’s largest smartphone market. It has also become a leader in new banking; according to the China Internet Network Information Centre, 358 million people in the People’s Republic were paying by mobile phone by the end of 2015. Apple Pay couldn’t be arriving in China at a more convenient time. The governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, recently revealed that the bank is considering mobile payments for its proposed digital currency initiative.
Xiaochuan said that the bank is not interested in using blockchain technologies for its initiative, and is instead favoring an option that would offer greater privacy. Key to the appeal of Apple Pay is that the user’s payment card details are never shared with vendors. However, despite advances made by FinTech firms, Xiaochuan has admitted that new and traditional banking methods could long continue to co-exist.