Smartphone users report problems linking their phones to bankcards, a problem the U.S. company says is due to a large number of people registering

(From Caixin Online)

By staff reporters Han Yi, Zhang Yuzhe and Wang Xiaoqing

Smartphone users trying to sign up for Apple Inc. mobile payment service ran into problems on the first day it was available in China.

Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that allows users to wave their phones near point-of-sale terminals to complete purchases, became available to iPhone users in China on February 18, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

However, many users had trouble getting started.

“It kept telling me the phone ‘cannot connect to Apple Pay’ or the verification for the card is not available when I was linking a bankcard,” said Duan Ge, a 31-year-old employee of a film production company.

Duan said he managed to link his debit card after about 30 minutes of trying, but later when he tried to register another credit card, he “could not even open the app.”

Apple Pay entered the country through a partnership with UnionPay, Apple said in December, in a bid to challenge the dominance of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Some mobile payment experts argue that Apple Pay is a safer payment option than an Internet-based system because it uses near-field communication (NFC), a short-range wireless technology that lets Apple devices and banks exchange data. It is more difficult for hackers to abuse NFC technology, the experts say.

Only about 60 percent of POS terminals have near-field communication technology, Dong Junfeng, a vice manager of Bank of China’s Internet finance department, wrote in a commentary published by Caixin. Read more

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