Apple and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba have taken another step closer to each other in their delicate dance towards partnership, according to a 9to5Mac article by Joe Rossignol. According to Rossignol, China Daily is now reporting that Alipay, the mobile commerce arm of Alibaba, is now compatible with Apple’s fingerprint-scanning TouchID system, so Alipay users can opt for that over a traditional password.
The development clearly indicates the possibility of a looming partnership between Apple and Alibaba, and arrives in the wake of news that the state monopoly China UnionPay is set to launch an Android-based m-commerce platform called Android Pay, which will clearly be in direct competition with Alipay and Apple Pay, should it launch in China as expected. And all of these developments were made possible by a relaxation of state policy allowing foreign financial services firms like MasterCard and Visa to do business in the country outside of the auspices of UnionPay, which has allowed them to begin preparing for POS transactions.
Biometric security is playing an increasingly important role in all of the above, as the threat of mobile fraud heightens with the rising adoption of mCommerce; Apple has pioneered fingerprint-scanning security with its TouchID system with its rivals following suite, and now the big credit card companies are looking into integrating such technology into their credit cards. It’s a time of large-scale, profound change in the industry and particularly in China, which Apple predicts will become its biggest market in the near future.