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UnionPay Acceptance Network Expands to 180 Countries and Regions

UnionPay International (UPI) announced that with significant progress in Latin America, UnionPay acceptance network has now extended to 180 countries and regions, over half of which accept UnionPay mobile payments. As many as 55 million merchants worldwide take UnionPay cards. According to a report released by RBR , UnionPay is among the most widely accepted card brands in the world.

With its vast network, UPI is striving to serve more overseas residents, facilitate China’s exchange with other countries, and boost the internal and external circulations. A total of more than 150 million UnionPay cards have been issued in 67 countries and regions outside Mainland China. Meanwhile, UnionPay is leading the development of digital payment in some of the Asia Pacific countries and regions through its services offered to local consumers.

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Expanding the Width and Depth of the Global Acceptance Network

‘Since the COVID-19 outbreak, UPI has been developing use cases for contact-free transactions. Such moves are meant to meet the diverse payment needs of overseas UnionPay cardholders in these challenging times.

Three million merchants outside Mainland China were enabled for UnionPay card acceptance last year, boosting the coverage in EuropeNorth America, and the Asia Pacific to 70%, 70%, and 90% respectively. UnionPay QR payment or mobile QuickPass are now supported by more than eight million merchants in 93 countries and regions outside Mainland China, including over 30 new markets such as BrazilHungary and Tajikistan. The number of UnionPay QR code merchants has doubled.

UnionPay cards are now supported by nearly 22 million online merchants in more than 200 overseas markets. UnionPay enables cardholders to make payments in the comfort of their homes by providing distinctive payment services for use cases such as food delivery and online tuition payments. In 2020, UPI’s online transaction volume grew by nearly 15% year-on-year.

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Moving towards a More International Brand

UnionPay joined hands with Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, a Philippine partner, to issue six million debit cards at the end of 2020. As the largest UnionPay card issuance project in the Belt and Road markets last year, this collaboration demonstrates UPI’s stronger commitment to business localization through working closely with overseas partners.

All UnionPay card issuance projects have been implemented as scheduled in markets including RussiaMongolia, and Africa, with more than 20 million cards issued last year. Particularly in the Asia Pacific region, one in four new cards is branded UnionPay. Despite the YoY drop by two thirds in global air passenger traffic, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued overseas has grown as the cards are used by local cardholders to make everyday purchases. As many as 90% of purchases with UnionPay cards issued in Hong Kong SAR, Macao SARSouth KoreaPakistanRussia and Central Asia take place locally.

According to Oriental Daily News in Hong Kong, UnionPay mobile payment products have recorded significant growth in transaction volume in spite of the decline in consumer spending in Hong Kong and Macao. Both transaction counts and volume grew by nearly 400% during the pandemic. The Hong Kong and Macao version of the UnionPay App launched two years ago has enrolled almost all local UnionPay issuers, leading to the enablement of UnionPay QR payment in 15 issuer apps. The UnionPay QR payment, with 1.6 million users in the region, has become one of the most popular mobile payment services among local residents.

Mobile payment is becoming the focus of cooperation for a growing number of UPI partners overseas. UPI has launched over 90 mobile payment products in Hong KongMacao and other locations outside Mainland China. Such products take the forms of the UnionPay App, mobile pay products (or OEM Pay), and QR code e-wallets. New users, totaled nearly five million last year. Mobile payment products are used for one in five transactions generated by UnionPay cards issued overseas.

In recent years, UPI has been enhancing its digital payment capabilities and launched more than 20 digital payment service platforms, offering whole-process technical support to its partners in conducting UnionPay business. In particular, such platforms have improved the efficiency of rolling out mobile payment services.

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