Samsung has officially launched its Samsung Pay mobile payment technology in China, the company announced Tuesday.
According to Samsung, the service roll out includes support for select credit and debit cards from nine banks, including China CITIC Bank, China Construction Bank, China Everbright Bank, China Guangfa Bank, China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd, China Merchants Bank, Hua Xia Bank , Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Ping An Bank.
The company said it is also planning future support for six additional banks – including Bank of China, Bank of Beijing, Bank of Communications, China Bohai Bank, Industrial Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank – and will continue to “strategically expand its partnership ecosystem.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with CUP to bring Samsung Pay to China,” Samsung Electronics’ global head of Samsung Pay Injong Rhee said in a statement. “The reception of Samsung Pay since its launch has been extremely positive and the service has already seen tremendous success in terms of availability and adoption by consumers…We ultimately want to make Samsung Pay available to as many consumers as possible, so that everyone in China can have the opportunity to enjoy the simplicity, safety and convenience of our mobile payment solution.”
The company said Samsung Pay will initially be available on the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5 in China and said it’s hoping to add support for other mid-range devices in the future.
Samsung’s move into China follows the launch of Apple’s Apple Pay service in the country last month. Like Samsung, Apple partnered with state-run credit processor China UnionPay on the launch.
At the time of the roll out, China UnionPay said the Apple Pay service was compatible with 19 Chinese banks and “numerous merchants,” including supermarket Carrefour, fast food restaurants McDonald’s and KFC, and convenience store 7-Eleven.
Device manufacturer Huawei is also reportedly preparing to launch a mobile payment system in China. Like Apple and Samsung, the company announced a new partnership with China UnionPay last week.
Samsung Pay was first launched in South Korea in August 2015 and quickly saw success in that country. Within its first month, Samsung reported the mobile payment system had facilitated more than $30 million worth of transactions.
The payment system made its way to the United States a month later, but has struggled to pull ahead of or even with Apple Pay. Though Samsung Pay has reportedly reached five million monthly active users, just four percent of Samsung users with mobile payment-capable devices user the service.
However, Samsung Pay may get a boost from planned launches in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom later this year.
While China is also expected to provide a substantial bump to Samsung Pay’s figures, the service’s entrance into that market won’t be without its hurdles.
Though they may be among the biggest mobile payment players in the United States, both Apple and Samsung are late-comers to the Chinese market, which is already dominated by Alibaba Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Payment systems.