Apple Pay to launch in China by February?

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More ‘phoney’ money could be set to come to China, courtesy of Apple, reports the Wall Street Journal. It reckons the tech giant has signed a deal with the nation’s four biggest banks to launch Apple Pay, and hopes to start the service before February 8, the start of the Chinese New Year. If so that would be quite a coup, marking a foreign firm’s entry into China’s vast and erstwhile protected payments system (UnionPay processes virtually every one of China’s credit card swipes). The Apple product works on its latest smartphones the iPhone 6 and 6s, and allows users to place their phones near readers in stores and then uses their fingerprints to validate purchases. In the US Apple typically takes 0.15% of all credit transactions and 0.5 cents per debit transaction, the Wall Street Journal suggests.

In June Apple registered an entity in Shanghai’s free trade zone to operate the service in China. Should it launch on the reported timetable, Apple Pay’s emergence would also provide a boost for the profile of the Shanghai zone, whose impact has been questioned by local and foreign media alike.

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