Samsung, the world’s largest handset manufacturer, announced its partnership with one of the largest card players in China, UnionPay. The two parties will work together to launch an NFC payment service for Samsung’s handset users in China.
For existing UnionPay users, the service is available with immediate effect, and they can use the NFC feature of their Samsung phones after saving the card details using a mobile app. The feature is available to users of Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note 3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones.
UnionPay is a well-known brand in China and operates more than 3.5 mn card readers and wireless NFC payment terminals in China. If UnionPay goes ahead to form an alliance with Korean credit card companies, Chinese users will also be able to use NFC services while purchasing goods in South Korea.
Samsung has created a buzz in the Chinese payments industry over the last few months. Besides this move, the Korean giant has already launched its wallet service known, Samsung Wallet, that enables subscribers using designated software to store and manage different membership cards, coupons and tickets.
Earlier this year, Samsung announced that the two companies will cooperate in the payments space. This partnership will help Samsung achieve a leadership position in the payment industry in China. UnionPay is the largest credit card company in the country and accounts for about 80% of the market.
A Samsung spokesman said, "We'll cooperate more with UnionPay, not just for NFC payment, but all financial services that use a mobile device."
A Samsung Economic Research Institute research states that when card players like UnionPay tie-up with smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, the card company gets less commission than what they get from credit card transactions. However, because of the widespread use of the mobile devices, it is a worthwhile deal for the card companies, as it gives them more reach.