Details of the agreement are yet to be finalized, pending feedback from banks that issue cards, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Shanghai-based UnionPay, the nation’s largest payment and clearing network, aims to introduce Apple Pay as soon as next year, one of the people said.
Mobile Payment transactions are increasing quickly in China. They rose 134% last year in China to $3.5 trillion USD. A deal with UnionPay would let Apple launch on over 5 million POS machines; however, the companies have yet to sign a deal with banks on linking their cards to Apple Pay. The banks are concerned with the fees charged by Apple Pay and its low usage rates (1%) in the U.S.
In the United States, Apple takes 0.15% of each purchase made through its system, out of the 2% fee paid by merchants. However, that will be difficult to get in China as merchants pay only about 0.38%.
Apple recently launched its mobile payments service in Canada and Australia; however, it was a limited launch for AMEX card holders only.