China UnionPay is among the most popular payment card in China and recently Apple has announced that Apple customers can buy their favorite apps from App Store through UnionPay virtual money.
On November 17, 2014 Apple announced great news for its Chinese customers. Now all the Apple users in China are able to buy their favorite apps from the App Store using the UnionPay bankcard network. It is a bankcard network that is approved by the People’s Bank of China and China’s State Council. All you have to do is; link your Apple ID with your UnionPay credit or debit card.
Till now UnionPay Bankcard has issued more than 4.5 million cards throughout China. These cards are available in every city of China as well as in overseas market. Apple has almost 100 million iPhone users in China, thus making Chinese market the most important growth market of Apple. According to the fourth-quarter earnings report, the company has generated revenue of $28.8 billion that is almost 16 percent in net sales in 2014.
In China, UnionPay is the only inter bank network that links all the ATMs. Because of the Government regulations all the Chinese merchants and ATMs have to use UnionPay as a medium to process all kinds of payments in renminbi. The foreign credit card companies such as American Express, MasterCard and Visa also use UnionPay card in order to process their transactions in China.
However, every one of these card companies has to pay a certain amount of fee to the UnionPay card company. Previously, Apple customer made payments on the App Store using their credit cards or through telecommunication operator such as China Mobiles or through prepayments.
During an interview, Apple’s senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue said that their customer in China had been requesting the company to allow Purchase from the App Store using UnionPay cards.
In addition to this, he said that China is Apple’s second largest Market in the world and now the company is adamant in providing its users an easy and convenient way to purchase their favorite apps from the App Store with the help of just one tap.
“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”
Before Apple decided to Link-up with UnionPay, there was a rumor that Apple was planning to strike a partnership with Alipay, an idea that was founded by Alibaba Group. The partnership between Apple and Alipay will be very beneficial for the companies that are situated in Cupertino and will provide them leverage against UnionPay, thus now making it difficult for Apple to strike an agreement with Alipay.
Although this information is not official yet, but a partnership between the two companies seems likely. According to a spokesman of Alipay the company is really looking forward to join hands with people who are smart, who are cooperative and flexible and they have the ability to come up with a product that is innovative and unique.
Another positive sign for Alipay is that the State Council has given the company the permission to open its payment systems to foreign companies, thus allowing Alipay to open its physical payment points anywhere they want.