Apple’s Apple Pay mobile payment app available on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus saw huge popularity after launch, injecting new life into the NFC-based payments business. Google, and others, have included such features in Android devices for years, but they never really took off. In fact, only recently, Apple’s competitors confirmed they witnessed an increase in Android smartphone-generated transactions after Apple Pay became available on this year’s iPhones.
On top of that, Want China Times citing Shanghai’s China Business News says that an Android Pay product is currently in development in China, but Google isn’t backing it up. Instead, China’s UnionPay, the largest card issuer in the region and a company that has recently announced an App Store-related partnership with Apple, is creating the new contactless payments product, hoping to significantly increase wireless payments adoption in China.
UnionPay will also support Apple Pay next year, but with Android Pay, the company can work with multiple partners to deploy compatible products.
The company has apparently approached Coolpad and Lenovo, though it’s not clear what products will support Android Pay in the future, or when they’re supposed to be launched. UnionPay is expected to subsidize the cost of the NFC chip, needed to secure mobile payments, in order to convince smartphone makers to support Android Pay.
One additional Apple Pay security feature protecting payments is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but it’s not known whether future Android handsets with Android Pay capabilities will also have a fingerprint sensor on board.