Samsung Pay
Samsung PayREUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Samsung Electronics launched its mobile payment service -- Samsung Pay -- in China Tuesday. It would enable users to use their debit and credit cards to purchase goods and services on eligible Samsung mobile phones with China UnionPay (CUP).

The announcement comes a little more than a month after Apple Pay was launched in China. However, Samsung Pay can be used on both QuickPass POS terminal with NFC and more POS terminals without NFC technology, which will help users to make payments from almost everywhere. On the other hand, Apple Pay allows users to make payments only at NFC (near-field communications) contactless terminals.

"We are pleased to be partnering with CUP to bring Samsung Pay to China," said Injong Rhee, EVP and head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, in a statement

"In compliance with national laws and regulations, thanks to cooperating with CUP and many banks, we ultimately want to make Samsung Pay available to as many consumers as possible in china, so that everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy the simplicity, safety and convenience of this mobile payment solution," he added.

Samsung Pay is currently available only on the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 in China, but the service will be expanded to several mid-range smartphones in the future. It currently supports 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, but plans are underway to include six more banks. 

Though the introduction of Samsung Pay in China is a big step forward for Samsung, it's not going to be a cakewalk because of the presence of Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat Payment and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's AliPay, which already have deep reach into the domestic mobile payment services.