Mobile handset manufacturer Samsung has partnered with China UnionPay to provide smartphone payment services to consumers in China.
The tie-up with UnionPay, which controls 80% of China's offline payment market, is expected to give Samsung a head start in the mobile payment sector, says the Yonhap News Agency
, which first reported the deal.
People using Samsung's latest Galaxy Note 4 phablet as well as the older Note 3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones will be able to use the system across a network of some 3.6 million NFC-ready terminals at shops throughout the country.
Samsung's entry into China mimics Apple's approach to the US launch of the Apple Pay service, by forging links with card schemes and issuers to gain a foothold in the nascent non-cash payments market.
China remains a relatively underdeveloped market for non-cash transactions, says the recently-issued Capgemini/RBS 2014 World Payments Report, but its population and growth rate suggest in certain conditions that it could soon outstrip the US and Eurozone within the next five years.
Currently, one in five people in the world that are using mobile banking, lives in China, according to data from consultancy CGAP.