Hot on the heels of Apple announcing an agreement with China UnionPay for bringing Apple Pay to China, Samsung is now releasing word that it has the secured the same deal and the same rollout roadmap. Subject to testing and regulatory validation, Samsung Pay will be available to UnionPay cardholders in early 2016.
UnionPay is China's bankcard association and its collaboration is a prerequisite for bringing any new form of mobile payments to the country. With UnionPay's cooperation, Samsung smartphones will allow Chinese users to manage their credit and debit cards on the device and make payments using established, QuickPass-branded NFC point-of-sale terminals.
With the Chinese New Year less than two months away on February 8th, both Apple and Samsung will be hoping that their payment services will be certified and approved swiftly. Even if they do the miss the bumper shopping window, however, their presence in China will remain of critical importance for the foreseeable future. Chinese consumers have already demonstrated their formidable spending power on Singles' Day last month, overshadowing the American Black Friday shopping bonanza, and securing their custom will be of great importance to all mobile payment companies.