Apple is aiming to launch its Apple Pay mobile payment system in China by early February, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the report, the tech giant has already signed agreements with China’s top four state-run banks, which would allow Chinese customers to link Apple Pay to their bank accounts. The amount Apple would charge for purchases made using the service has yet to be determined.
The hoped-for launch would be scheduled for Feb. 8, China’s Spring Festival holiday, the report said. Before launch, however, the report said Apple will have to get the go ahead from Chinese regulators.
Launched in the United States in October 2014, Apple Pay quickly gained more than 1 million activations in its first month but has since struggled to maintain a foothold in the hearts of U.S. consumers. In its first full year, the service accounted for just one percent of retail transactions in the country.
Part of Apple Pay’s struggle – and that of other NFC-based payment systems – has been a lack of compatible NFC payment terminals. As a result, Apple Pay and other similar mobile payment systems have found themselves at a disadvantage compared to Samsung Pay’s flexible NFC-magstripe combination technology that allows payment virtually anywhere a credit card can be swiped.
Earlier this week, though, Apple Pay users got some good news when Square announced a new reader that can process payments from both mobile devices using NFC payment systems and credit card chips.
In addition to the launch of its service in China, Apple Pay is also reportedly looking into adding a person-to-person payment element to its system.