Samsung has brought its mobile payment service to China, thanks to a partnership with local bank card organization China UnionPay (CUP). While this is a milestone for the electronics manufacturer, the deal comes as the payment space in the country is becoming increasingly crowded, especially with the introduction of Apple Pay.
China has the largest smartphone market in the world, with 358 million people already paying for goods using their mobile device, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Samsung’s entry includes support for select credit and debit cards from nine banks in the country, including China CITIC Bank, China Construction Bank, China Everbright Bank, China Guangfa Bank, China Minsheng Banking, China Merchants Bank, Hua Xia Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Ping An Bank.
Eventually, Samsung Pay will also work with Bank of China, Bank of Beijing, Bank of Communications, China Bohai Bank, Industrial Bank, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
Users in China who have the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones, or the Galaxy S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note5, will be able to use Samsung Pay right now. Additional mid-range devices will be added in the future.
Although two well-known payment services in the U.S. have debuted in China, they’re not the only ones to do so. Other payment options include Tencent’s WeChat Payment and Ant Financial’s Alipay.
“The reception of Samsung Pay since its launch has been extremely positive and the service has already seen tremendous success in terms of availability and adoption by consumers,” said Injong Rhee, Samsung’s executive vice president and head of R&D, software, and services of mobile communications business. “In compliance with national laws and regulations, thanks to cooperating with CUP and many banks, we ultimately want to make Samsung Pay available to as many consumers as possible in China, so that everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy the simplicity, safety and convenience of this mobile payment solution.”