Apple is expected to kick off Apple Pay in China as early as the first calendar quarter of 2015, sources have whispered to BrightWire. The iPhone maker has partnered up with as many as eight banks, according to multiple sources who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
Apple’s banking partners in China are China Merchants Bank, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Everbright Bank, and China CITIC Bank, these people revealed.
As the sources speaking with the BrightWire journalist Frank Hill pointed out, Apple and China Merchant Bank have completed testing the bank’s support for Apple Pay, but the other seven are still in the works.
There is one roadblock though: Apple’s share. Fact is, the two parties (Apple and the banks) have a different vision on how much the iPhone maker should get for each transaction, so this remains the subject of further discussions, which slowing down the Chinese rollout of Apple Pay.
However, negotiations are being slowed by differences over how much Apple should reap from each transaction. Apple is said to be proposing a high fee for each transaction while Chinese banks are trying to reduce that, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Alibaba is also publicly interested in having Apple Pay on board on its mobile e-commerce platform. According to China Daily (via Quartz), Alipay’s updated iOS app will allow iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus users to activate the fingerprint payment function immediately.