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Apple Pay hits its first major hurdle

Zach Epstein
February 17th, 2015 at 7:45 AM
Apple Pay Stores China

Apple Pay is a product that has thus far seemed to mirror many successful products Apple has launched before it. As was the case with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Apple was not the first company to enter this emerging category. Mobile payment systems have existed in various parts of the world for more than a decade, in fact. Instead, Apple took its time to launch the best product it could build, not the first product it could build, and the result is a terrific user experience that is gaining acclaim and traction in these early days.

Now, however, it appears as though Apple Pay has hit the first major hurdle it must overcome on the road to widespread adoption.

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China is a market that Apple has clearly realized it must tackle if it hopes to enjoy continued growth. The company has struck several big deals in the region over the past couple of years, and CEO Tim Cook has given every indication that Apple will continue to focus on building its business in China.

When it comes to Apple Pay, however, that task may be easier said than done.

According to a report from MarketWatch issued late Monday night, Apple’s talks with a potential major partner in China have stalled. Progress in negotiations with UnionPay, the state-owned debit and credit transaction processing company in China, has seemingly ceased.

What’s more, an unnamed People’s Bank of China official said that Apple has not yet begun working with China’s regulatory body regarding Apple Pay and as a result, “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements” to launch in the country.

Apple has also reportedly had some preliminary talks with Alibaba regarding a potential mobile payment partnership in the region, but those talks have not borne any fruit either.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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