Apple has today announced that it has struck a deal to allow customers in China to pay with UnionPay payment cards when they buy software from the App Store. Customers can now link UnionPay debit and credit cards to their Apple ID for quick and easy one-tap purchases.
“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a press release issued by the Cupertino company this morning.
“China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”
UnionPay is China’s most popular payment card, as well as the creator of the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network. The number of UnionPay cards issued in China and in international countries to date is 4.5 billion, Apple says, and they’re accepted in 140 countries around the globe.
While it may have taken Apple a while to add UnionPay support, then, it seems it could quickly become a popular payment method among the many millions of App Store users in China. Until now, Union Pay customers were forced to transfer money to their App Store accounts first, and then make purchases using their account balance. Now they can charge purchases directly to their cards.