Apple Inc. seeks to launch its new Apple Pay electronic-payment service by early February in China, a fiercely competitive market for digital payments, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The US company has struck deals recently with China’s big four state-run banks to allow potential Apple Pay users to link the service with their local bank accounts, the report said.
Apple Pay could still face regulatory hurdles in China, where banking and e-commerce are overseen by various government agencies.
The firm hopes to launch the service before Feb. 8, the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.
How much Apple would charge for purchases made through Apple Pay has been an obstacle in the discussions leading to the launch, the report said.
In the United States, the firm gets 0.15 percent of all credit card transactions and 0.5 US cents per debit transaction.
Apple Pay works on Apple’s latest iPhone models, such as the iPhone 6 and 6S.
It is based on near field communication technology, which allows users to tap their devices on readers at sales counters and verify purchases by scanning their fingerprints.
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