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Apple’s mobile payments platform to launch in Asia in 2016

Apple Pay will expand in early 2016, giving more consumers access to mobile payments

Apple Pay is set to expand to prominent markets in Asia. The mobile payments service has managed to find modest success in the United States, but it has yet to become a mainstream service that consumers favor over other alternatives. Apple believes that the service will find significant success in Asian markets due to the growing number of people relying on their mobile devices to shop for and purchase the products that they are interested in.

Apple Pay to come to China, Hong Kong, and Singapore

Apple is preparing to launch its new mobile payments service in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore next year. The company is also expected to bring Apple Pay to Spain at some point in 2016, tapping into the growing mobile payments market in Europe. Notably, China and Hong Kong may be where Apple Pay finds the most success, but also the most competition. Mobile payments have been popular in Hong Kong for several years, with many companies having already established a major foothold that will make it difficult for Apple to find any traction. This is also true in China, where massive companies like Alibaba and Tencent have become involved in the mobile payments space.

Competition is strong in the Asian mobile payments space

Mobile Payments - Apple Pay in AsiaWhile Apple Pay will be coming to new markets, Apple has been experiencing some pushback from financial institutions in several markets. Banks, in particular, are unsure of the value of Apple Pay, largely due to the other payment services that exist. Some of these banks have their own mobile payments platforms and see Apple Pay as something that will have only moderate appeal to consumers.

More retailers are beginning to support mobile payments

China is currently the leading mobile payments market, with many companies offering some degree of mobile commerce support. As smartphone penetration increases in the country, more consumers are beginning to rely on their devices to shop for products online. As a result, retailers are beginning to show more favor for mobile payments services, which allow them to better connect with consumers.

Google Glass becomes part of hotel experience

Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine is offering the wearable tech to customers.

The Spanish five star exclusive abbey hotel and winery in Spain’s Duero wine region, dating back to 1146, is providing guests who visit its 900 year old property with Google Glass, and is the first hotel in Europe to do so.

The hotel has eight of the wearable devices.

The smart glasses are provided to guests so that they can obtain more from their experience at the hotel, which is well known for its architecture and art collection. During their stay, guests with the devices can watch videos about the hotel, take photos, videos, surf the web, make phone calls, and so on. When it is time for them to leave, guests can keep any of the personal files that were stored on their device, which is downloaded to a memory stick and given to them at checkout.

Andres Araya, LeDomaine’s managing director, has said that “Google Glass is the next step in our complete transformation from an ancient and storied abbey to a sophisticated modern hotel offering the highest level of luxury and service in a sublime historic ambiance.” Araya added that with Glass “we are introducing our guests to an exciting new 21st-century experience in a 12th-century setting.”

This is not the first time Google Glass has been utilized within the travel industry.

google glass - avilable at hotelOther examples of Glass being used in the travel industry include Starwood’s app for Glass and Spanish OTA Destination’s app, which enables users of the device to book a nearby hotel. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic has used the wearable tech to receive its guests.

As was previously mentioned, guests at the hotel can enjoy different apps and functions when using Glass. In addition to snapping photos with a blink of an eye or giving a verbal command, they can watch videos including the LeDomaine art tour and can stargaze using the location-based app that will provide users with the ability to see the alignment of the stars above them at any time of the day or night.

As new apps become available for Google Glass, LeDomaine intends to add them to their devices for patrons to enjoy.