Is Apple About to Eat the Bankers Lunch?

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Apple Pay has expanded its reach and has launched in a market critical to the Cupertino based firm, China.

Apple is focused on making Apple Pay the top mobile payment service in the world, therefore getting the system up and running across China has been at the core of the company’s expansion plans. Apple Pay lets users buy physical goods and services without having to enter payment or contact information.

And the unrelenting drive has paid off with Apple Pay now launched in Apple’s second biggest market with support from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, (ICBC) the largest bank in the world by total assets and by market capitalization.

Strong Chinese Support 

ICBC confirmed the Apple Pay launch earlier this week, though it won’t be the only bank on board to support the service, two more banks, China Construction Bank and China Guangfa Bank, are also planning to support Apple Pay and the remaining 16 banks Apple has listed on its Chinese website are expected to support the new payment system.

And thanks to Apple’s partnership with payment network UnionPay, Apple Pay already has support for more than 80 percent of China’s credit and debit cards.

China is now the fifth country to receive Apple Pay, following previous launches in the U.S., Australia, U.K. and Canada. Speaking to «Reuters» Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey said, «we think China could be our largest Apple Pay market.»

What Comes Next

Apple Pay could revolutionize the way millions if not billions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad. It represents a convenient, private and secure payment experience.

Apple though being an innovative, progressive and ultimately a very commercially minded company will surely not stop at Apple Pay when it comes to the transactions business. With the expertise and experience they are acquiring through billions of transactions, how long will it be before they up the ante and cut out the middlemen, the banks? 

Since the launch in the USA in October 2015 Apple has gradually been expanding Apple Pay’s accessibility. At present iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad owners can use the service in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Singapore, Spain, and Hong Kong are believed to be lined up next, with launches planned soon.

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