Tim Cook has described making Apple Pay available in China “top of the list” in terms of his priorities. Sadly, it seems he’s going to have to wait a bit longer until that dream becomes a reality.
That’s because, despite beginning conversations with China’s eight major banks last year, Apple’s discussions have apparently not gone well — as Chinese banks have been reticent about letting the Cupertino company eat into their existing profits.
Apple had originally hoped that iOS 8.3 would support UnionPay — the only Chinese company which handles interbank payments in the country — but has “struggled” to get the necessary agreement, and had to drop its iOS 8.3 ambitions. According to sources who spoke with MarketWatch, no timetable is set for things to go ahead, either.
As the publication explains:
“In the United States, Apple Pay says it gets 0.15% of the 2% fee paid by merchants for each credit-card payment and half a penny for each debit card payment.
But Chinese banks argued those charges were too steep, an employee of a large bank said. Many large banks that are already part of mature point-of-sale networks do not want to lose such a large percentage of their profits in a deal with Apple Pay, he said.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has struggled to get one of its technologies into China. Prior to the iPhone 6’s release, the handset’s arrival in the country was delayed due to a lack of regularity approval. Apple has also found itself booted off the Chinese government’s list of approved state purchases.
Despite being named Chinese consumer’s favorite luxury brand, it seems that Apple still has a way to go to gets its innovations embraced as they are back home in the U.S.
Today’s MarketWatch report also notes that Apple has struggled in its efforts to get Apple Pay into the U.K. Originally scheduled for the first half of 2015, this is now reportedly delayed until the second half of the year as talks continue.