The mobile payment race is heating up. We've had the option on Android for a long time, and Apple Pay is bringing millions of iPhone users into the NFC payments game. Samsung and UnionPay are teaming up to launch a service of their own in China. The two companies know that mobile payments are the way consumers are going to pay for things in the future. China is a huge market and both companies want to get NFC payments jump started there, too.
China UnionPay is the only domestic bank card company in China. They hold about an 80 percent market share in offline payments in China. By teaming up with Samsung, they are aiming at smartphone payment dominance as well. Samsung customers have more than 3.6 million smartphones in China that have NFC built into them. Samsung wants to get in on mobile payments because they are getting a piece of the revenue that is generated when payments are processed through their new system with UnionPay. Samsung is partnering with UnionPay for more than just NFC payments, too. "We'll cooperate more with UnionPay, not just for NFC payments, but all financial services that use a mobile device", said a Samsung spokesperson.
We have had NFC payments using Google Wallet for years. Now that Apple is on board, hopefully we'll see some serious traction with consumers in the mobile payments space. I'm not a bit upset that Apple is getting all of this attention over Apple Pay. The more people that know what NFC payments are, the more they will ask to use them. Merchants will have to implement mobile payment systems, and that means that I'll be able to use my Android phone to pay for things everywhere I go. I want to be able to leave my wallet at home and just pay with my phone any time I need to purchase anything. Global expansion of wireless payments is good for us all, whether it's happening in the U.S. or in China.