The bike rental war between Mobike and its rival ofo is still ongoing in China, with no end in sight. The pair has been waging an all-out war in terms of bike quantity and technology on and beyond their home turf. Now they set their sight on user experience.
Mobike announced yesterday that it has teamed up with Apple to allow iPhone users to make payment with Apple Pay and unlock Mobike bicycles by scanning QR codes from their iOS 11 iPhone camera, as part of its efforts to enhance user experience and stay ahead of its nimble rivals.
This is the third payment mode accepted by the Chinese bike rental firm after Alipay and WeChat Pay. After upgrading the Mobike app on their mobile phones to the latest iOS 5.0 version, domestic users can make deposits and top up their Mobike accounts with Apply Pay in-app.
The addition of Apple Pay will reinforce Mobike’s globalization drive, as the mobile payment service enjoys great popularity around the world (except in China where it has been relegated to pipsqueak status and did not even make it to the top ten in the country’s Q1 2017 mobile payment market).
In addition, the introduction of QR code support by Apple enables Mobike users to scan and unlock a bike without even opening their Mobike app. Such handy and fast way to unlock a bike is expected to help increase user base and engagement and speed up the bike rental firm’s growth.
Mobike said its MAU has doubled month-on-month and nearly half of its new users came from WeChat since its tie-up with the popular messaging app in March that has enabled users to access Mobike’s cycle-rental feature within the wallet function of WeChat.
Mobike’s rival ofo sides with Alipay, which supports the “scan-and-ride” function for six bike-rental apps including ofo. In addition, ofo’s bicycle-rental feature has been accessible to users within ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing’s app since April. Didi is a major investor of ofo and has shelled out hundreds of million US dollars (in Chinese) in the firm’s three financing round.