Apple Pay Expanding to China, Possibly France and Canada’s Big Banks

Apple Pay has launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia to date, and the mobile payments service could expand to a fifth country this week: China. A customer service representative for China’s Guangfa Bank, using the bank’s public WeChat account, appears to have confirmed that Apple Pay will officially go live in the world’s most populous country on February 18 at 5:00 a.m. local time.

(Image: Sina via Tech in Asia)

Apple previously announced that Apple Pay will expand to China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay, a state-run interbank network that holds a monopoly on the country’s credit and debit card processing. UnionPay cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad – the latter for in-app purchases only. iOS 9.2 or watchOS 2.1 or later will be required, according to the screenshot.

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple reached deals with China’s big four state-run banks, including the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China, to launch its iPhone-based payments service in the country. The report said Apple Pay could launch by the weeklong Chinese New Year, which concluded on February 13.

That prospective date has since passed, but a pair of YouTube videos surfaced in January that appeared to show Apple Pay working with UnionPay bank cards in China for both in-store and in-app purchases. It is possible that Apple soft launched Apple Pay in China with select participating issuers in order to test the payments service, ahead of its official launch in the country in a few days.

Meanwhile, French website iGeneration claims that Apple is preparing to launch Apple Pay in France and could make an announcement in the first half of 2016 – perhaps at WWDC in June. The report claims it is unclear when Apple Pay will become available in French stores, nor does it have information about which banks and participating issuers will support the service upon launch.

Last, new evidence has been uncovered that hints at Apple Pay support coming to Canada’s big banks. Specifically, Twitter user ChaseFromm2016 recently discovered a „NetworkInterac“ string hidden in iOS 9.2.1 code, as shared by the blog iPhone in Canada. The same string was also shared on Chinese website Feng last month, in the screenshot pictured right, according to the report.

(Image: iPhone in Canada)

Interac is Canada’s official debit card network, adopted by the country’s largest banks and credit unions nationwide, including BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, Meridian, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, and many others. TD Canada Trust already stirred speculation in October when it inadvertently listed Apple Pay as a method of payment on its website, before quickly removing it.

Apple Pay is currently limited to American Express cardholders in Canada and Australia, and the same partnership will be extended to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain later this year. Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations, and Au Bon Pain, Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, Cinnabon, Chili’s, KFC, and Starbucks stores now do or soon will accept the payments service in the U.S.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: China, Canada, France
Discuss this article in our forums

Прочетете повече

TD Canada Trust Lends Credence to Apple Pay Launch in Canada Next Month

Just one month before Apple Pay is rumored to launch in Canada, large bank TD Canada Trust briefly provided evidence of the forthcoming launch by prematurely listing the iPhone-based mobile payments service as a method of payment on its website, as spotted by blog iPhone in Canada. The link has since been removed.

Apple Pay was briefly listed under „Ways to Pay“ at the bottom of TD Canada Trust’s website, but the link now leads to a blank page. When it was live, the page said that Apple Pay will soon support TD Canada Trust debit and credit cards, with purchases subject to a $100 transaction limit like other contactless payments in Canada.

In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in negotiations with the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada about a potential November launch of Apple Pay in Canada. The six financial institutions combined account for more than 90% of Canadian bank accounts.

Apple Pay launched in the United States last October, and expanded to the United Kingdom in July.

TD Canada Trust has around 11 million customers in Canada.



Прочетете повече

iOS device hospital trial leads to lower mortality rates

We’re increasingly obsessed with the idea of personal health tracking devices like the long-awaited iWatch, but current Apple devices can also be used to revolutionize medicine within hospitals. A new report in the U.K. states that doctors and nurses at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University…Read more ›



Прочетете повече

Apple’s Future OS X Names May Include Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Sur, Redwood, Pacific

Following recent trademark investigations related to the iWatch, French site Consomac has discovered [Google Translate] that Apple may also be using a pair of shell companies to protect various California-related names in anticipation of future OS X releases. Apple’s Craig Federighi announced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference that the company would be shifting gears on OS X naming, moving from big cats to „places that inspire us in California“. The current OS X Mavericks was the first to adopt the new naming pattern, taking its name from a popular surfing spot known for its massive waves.

Consomac notes that a pair of companies going by the names of Yosemite Research LLC and Coast Research LLC applied for trademarks on several California-related terms in the category of computer software on the same day back in early December. The terms for which the companies are seeking trademark protection include Yosemite, Redwood, and Mammoth (via Yosemite Research), and California, Big Sur, and Pacific (via Coast Research).

As with several other Apple shell companies created for quietly protecting trademarks, such as CarPlay Enterprises and perhaps Brightflash USA, both Yosemite Research and Coast Research are registered in the state of Delaware and use the Corporation Trust Center as their addresses. Both companies were registered with the state on November 22, 2013. Those details by themselves do not clinch the companies’ association with Apple, as the Corporation Trust Center is used by many companies large and small to facilitate corporate registrations, but it is consistent with Apple’s past behavior.

Another intriguing connection noticed by Consomac is that the attorney listed on the Coast Research applications is Stephen Brown, and an attorney by the same name is listed on an „iGuide“ application dating back to late 2007 from iGuide Media LLC, a company MacRumors linked to Apple a number of years ago. Another attorney on that iGuide application is James Johnston, who was involved with Apple’s efforts to protect the „iPhone“ name using another shell company by the name of Ocean Telecom Services LLC.

The U.S. trademark applications by Yosemite Research and Coast Research from early December also all cite filings in Trinidad and Tobago for priority purposes, similar to Apple’s CarPlay strategy. Those California-themed filings in Trinidad and Tobago were made on June 7, 2013, the Friday before Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote where it announced the change in naming scheme for OS X.

Taken together, all of these pieces of information make a strong case for Apple being the company behind the recent California-themed trademark applications. If this is indeed in the case, past history shows that Apple may or may not elect to use all of these names for future versions of OS X. For example, the company long ago filed for protection on various big cat names to reserve them for OS X releases, but never used some of them such as Lynx and Cougar.

The next version of OS X, 10.10, has been showing up in server logs for some time and according to 9to5Mac is expected to feature a „flatter“ look compared to OS X Mavericks. Apple made similar changes with iOS 7, but the OS X changes are said to not be as drastic as those seen on iOS. OS X 10.10 is likely to be previewed at this year’s WWDC, which will kick off with a keynote on June 2.




Прочетете повече

New Virtual Pet App ‘Hatch’ From ‘Clear’ Developers Hits the App Store [iOS Blog]

Impending and Realmac Software, the app studios behind popular to-do app Clear, have today released a new app called Hatch. First announced back in December of 2012, Hatch is an ambitious virtual pet app that has been in development for several months.

Reminiscent of the Tamagotchi pocket pets that were popular in the late 1990s, Hatch provides users with a virtual iPhone pet called a Fugu. Fugu, which come in an array of colors, are creatures that iPhone owners can interact with in a variety of ways. As with most virtual pet items and applications, Hatch requires users to feed, clean up after, and care for their Fugu.

Fugu in Hatch crave attention and express happiness when they are fed, pet, or otherwise interacted with by their owners. When neglected, the pets grow sad and may even run away. While Fugu do like attention and feedings at various times throughout the day, their energy is tied to the iPhone’s battery and they will sleep when the phone is charging.

Fugu are fed with fruit, which grows on nearby trees. Fruit can also be exchanged for acorns and star coins, two currencies that are used to purchase accessories like a camera, a bag to store extra fruit, and a variety of collectable rugs and blankets Fugu sit on.

Along with feedings and cleanings, Fugu will react to several different stimuli, including pokes, pinches, swipes, and music. Shaking the iPhone will also cause a reaction, and additional interactions are unlocked as a Fugu’s „Trust“ level grows. There’s an in-app camera that iPhone owners can use to take photographs that include their Fugu.

Hatch also features a colorful hand-animated environment that takes advantage of the parallax effect introduced in iOS 7 and it includes Game Center support, with occasional gifts being sent from Game Center friends.

Users that reserved a special pet via email back in December should have received an email with a clickable egg that will allow it to be inserted into the game after it is downloaded.

Hatch can be downloaded from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]




Прочетете повече