If you thought the most common payment card in the world was Visa or MasterCard you’d be quite wrong. It’s the UnionPay card from China and, even after just a short 12 years, it already accounts for nearly 40% of the cards being used worldwide.
Go ahead. Wrap your head around that fact for a minute.
When you compare that to Visa at 24% and MasterCard at 18%, both pale in comparison, and you quickly realize exactly why Apple wants to be their partner in any way they can.
As Apple aims to trail blaze a path for mobile payment in China, accepting UnionPay in Apple’s App Store only makes sense. It makes even more sense when you consider that, in China, people are already paying for taxis and restaurants using their smartphones, as well as a host of other purchases.
The move, AdAge recently asserted, will no doubt make it much easier for people in China to pay for their App Store purchases using UnionPay, where the card is well-established after being issued to 4.5 billion Chinese consumers. In fact, according to Eddy Cue, the senior VP of Internet software and services for Apple, “The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China.”
The move is seen as a boon for Chinese high school and college students as well as blue-collar workers, consumers in China who normally don’t have access to international credit card brands. Of course, China is an enormous market with vast potential, the fact of which you can bet Apple CEO Tim Cook is very keenly aware.
Another fact is that China is a “mobile first” country and, as they develop the services needed to increase convenience for their people, you can be sure that Apple will do everything they can to be included.