Huawei has entered into an agreement with UnionPay to expand its Huawei Pay service beyond China for the first time.
Russia will be the first overseas market to receive the service, and will be followed by other “belt and road” countries – a term used by the Chinese government to denote regions that take priority for trade agreements going forward.
Huawei Pay is the vendor’s retail payment app, which offers secure payments via Huawei devices using biometrics and NFC technology in order to verify transactions. It debuted in China in September 2016, and in 2017 the app was used to process transactions worth CNY4 billion ($632 million).
Based in China, Union Pay is a credit and debit card firm that operates both within China and internationally, with overseas banks offering its cards – notably in the belt and road regions, such as Russia where 1.3 million Union Pay cards are currently in use. Ten Russian financial institutions offer Union Pay cards.
Pushing Huawei Pay overseas means that Huawei will be competing with firms such as Samsung and Apple, which offer similar bespoke services via their devices, as well as Google which offers Android Pay via devices that use its operating system – including certain devices manufactured by Huawei.