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Alipay transactions hit 4 billion Yuan over CNY

Chinese residents no longer need to send cash to their friends and relatives during Chinese New Year, as mobile payment giant Alipay promotes itself as an alternative to the traditional Hongbao gift, an alternative that has proved to be well received.

In total, 4 billion Yuan ($640 million USD) was transacted through Alipay over the Lunar New Year period, the peak of Chinese money gifting, said Alipay on the company’s official Weibo account last Tuesday.

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Apple Pay faces major roadblock in China after UnionPay stalls negotiations

Apple have been in talks with two of the biggest players in China’s domestic mobile payments market – Alibaba’s Alipay and state-owned China UnionPay. It has been reported that Apple Pay were hopeful of being able to get a deal done with both firms by March of this year, however that now looks unlikely as talks with UnionPay have stalled, primarily due to fears that Apple’s technology will render UnionPay’s obsolete,

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China UnionPay Cardholders Spend 41 Trillion Yuan in 2014

China UnionPay cardholders spent a record 41 trillion Yuan last year, an increase in spend from the previous year of 27.3%.

To better put it into context, 41 trillion Yuan (US$6.6 trillion) is the equivalent of the gross domestic product of France, South Korea and the UK combined

Much of this growth can be attributed to Chinese continued economic growth and UnionPay’s commitment to expanding its network both domestically and overseas,

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Chinese Yuan Becomes Fifth Most Used Payment Currency Worldwide

China, the world’s second largest economy, has seen its currency climb into fifth place as the world’s most frequently used for payments, according to Swift.

The Yuan took fifth spot at the expense of both the Canadian and Australian dollars, accounting for 2.17% of all international payments in December of last year. 

Despite being somewhat off challenging the US dollar, Euro and British Pound, it is gaining fast on the fourth place Japanese Yen,

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Alipay Reaches 190 Million Active Users

China’s leading third party payment service, Alipay, have announced the latest figures in the uptake of their Alipay Wallet service, boasting that they now have some 190 million active users.

In 2013 Alipay’s mobile payment app had just over 100 million users. Today, that figure has risen to almost twice that of PayPal, which has 110 million active users. The continued growth of Alipay Wallet has made the company look at further ways it can utilise its mobile application as a wider payment tool,

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European Consumers Unconvinced at Prospect of Smartwatch Payments as Apple Pay Launches

Smartwatch-based eWallets, such as Apple’s soon to launch integrated Passbook and Apple Pay services, could find it difficult getting European consumers to take these new services up as research shows that they treat smartwatch devices with significantly more suspicion that US and Chinese consumers.

The study found that consumers with the lowest confidence in smartphone-based eWallets were Germans, with just 20% expressing interest in using such a system. Following behind them were UK consumers,

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Federal Reserve Launches Consultation to Address Consumer Demand for Faster Payments

The US Federal Reserve Bank has begun the process of planning for the launch of a fast payment system in the US, after research found that US consumers were in favour of such a system, so much so that they would be willing to pay a premium for it.

Early in the year, the Federal Reserve Bank commissions the McKinsey Global Institute to conduct a study on whether or not there was demand for a faster payment service.

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UnionPay Partners with Apple to bring NFC-based Payments to China

Up till now the mobile payments market in China has been dominated by QR codes, rather than applications that make use of NFC technology. However, that looks set to change as Apple pay, Apple’s new payment service, looks set to enter Asia’s largest market.

In order to bring the service to market Apple have teamed up with China’s largest card issuer China UnionPay, who will be working with Apple to offer Apple Pay through their existing eWallet infrastructure.

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Alipay announce partnership with Huawei to bring biometric mobile payments to China

Alipay, China’s leading only payment service, has announced that it has teamed up with mobile phone manufacturer Huawei to increase the security of their mobile application with fingerprinting technology.

Alipay Wallet, the company’s smartphone payment application that was relaunched last year, will be fully integrated into Huawei’s next smartphone, the Mate 7, which is to be the first phone from the company to come with biometric security features. 

In addition to the fingerprint reader,

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First Russian Bank to Begin Issuing China UnionPay Cards


Russia’s LaitBank look set to be the first in Russia to begin issuing China UnionPay cards, with approximately 10,000 to be issued within the next week, according to Russian news outlet Gazeta.

LaitBank, a small private bank, began talks with UnionPay back in 2012 and started receiving their first shipment of cards on Thursday. According to sources at the bank, they will be receiving an additional 50,000 cards from China UnionPay over the coming months. 

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