Samsung Pay will be available in China “as soon as early 2016” after the company signed a deal with card-processor UnionPay. The deal was an essential step as UnionPay has a monopoly on payment terminals in China. Apple yesterday announced its own deal with the company for Apple Pay.

Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President at Samsung Electronics said, “The collaboration with China UnionPay, coupled with the support from major UnionPay partner banks in China, will bring this secure and easy-to-use mobile payment solution to more Samsung mobile users.”

The deal will allow Samsung Pay users to use both swipe and contactless payment terminals, but there is still some red-tape to overcome first …

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Both Samsung and Apple still need to gain government approval to operate their mobile wallet services in China. It’s not known how long this may take, though there have been rumors that Apple is hoping to launch by February, and it is likely that Samsung would receive approval at around the same time.

Back in the USA, Samsung recently added support for 19 new cards. There’s also still time to pick up a free $50 Best Buy card if you activate the service by the end of the year.

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