Samsung Pay has joined the ultra-competitive mobile payment market in China.
Towards the end of 2015, Samsung revealed that it was bringing Samsung Pay to China in early 2016. This followed closely on the heels of a similar announcement from Apple with its own mobile payment system.
Apple Pay hit China on February 18, but it’s taken Samsung another month to launch its own mobile payment plans in the country.
Samsung Pay is now active in China following a one month public beta. Like Apple, Samsung is teaming up with UnionPay – the country’s biggest bankcard company. Samsung Pay also has the support of some of the country’s biggest banks, including ICBC, China Construction Bank, and China Merchants Bank.
Other major Chinese banks like Bank Of China and Bank Of Communications have been named as coming at a later date.
The list of compatible devices is a somewhat curious one. Only the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 are supported, leaving the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (the original Samsung Pay smartphones) out of the loop.
Given that these were both tested in the aforementioned public beta, presumably they’ll be joining at a later date.
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Samsung Pay has come to China ahead of its long-mooted European debut. That’s perhaps understandable, given the South Korean company’s closer proximity.
The company will also have been eager to stake a claim in what is already the biggest and most competitive mobile payment market in the world. As Engadget points out, the country’s Alipay and WeChat are already in heavy use, and cover a vast range of payment services to boot.