Samsung’s mobile wallet service was launched in China in collaboration with local provider UnionPay.
Instead of using cards, Samsung Pay allows shoppers to use their smartphones to pay for in-store purchases.
Last month, Apple launched its own Apple Pay system in China, also in partnership with UnionPay.
The Chinese smartphone market, the largest in the world, provides a huge business opportunity for mobile payment systems.
Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will now compete with Alibaba’s Alipay, which currently dominates the Chinese electronic payments market.
However, analysts say the mobile payment services provided by Alipay and WeChat have been so dominant in China that international newcomers such as Apple and Samsung will face a tough battle to gain market share.
Tencent’s WeChat also has a payment system that is popular in China, and telecommunications giant Huawei launched its own service earlier this month.
Samsung Pay is now available in China for a number of smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge + and Galaxy Note5, the South Korean electronics giant said.
Samsung said it would “have the ability to support additional mid-range models in the future.”
Announcing its official launch, which was expected late last year, Samsung said Samsung Pay currently supports selected credit and debit cards from nine major banks in China, including China CITIC Bank, China Construction Bank and China Everbright Bank.
Earlier, the company said it had a critical fact that would benefit it – its technology works with a much larger number of existing payment terminals.
In China, smartphones are being used quickly, with about 68% of the population now owning one. And digital wallets are becoming an increasingly popular way to pay for goods and services.
On March 29, Samsung said its payment system was “simple, secure and easy to use” and that it works “virtually anywhere you can drag or touch your card in China.”
Unlike Google Wallet and several other earlier payment apps, Samsung says you don’t need to unlock your phones to launch a special app to get started.
Like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay will use close communication technology (NFC), which requires a separate transaction device, but will also support magnetic secure transmission technology that works on ordinary credit card machines.
Samsung Pay is currently available in South Korea and the United States.