+21m merchants now take UnionPay outside of China

By Doug Newhouse |

UnionPay Card dummyUnionPay International says it is extending the number of overseas outlets and industries where its cards can be used by Chinese nationals beyond duty free stores, shopping centres and hotels, to travel bookings, specialty foods, leisure and public transportation.


Currently an estimated 21m-plus merchants outside the Chinese Mainland use UnionPay service as ‘a must-have’, while a total of 1.5m ATMs now accept these cards overseas, according to the UnionPay International company.


The company is now expecting an extremely busy period, with China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) expecting China’s outbound tourism to reach a ‘peak’ during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival period.



At this time it also expects that Chinese overseas’ long-distance destinations for Chinese travellers will be headed up by the USA, Canada, Australia, France and Egypt.



Using UnionPay cards to pay for duty and tax free purchases is still extremely popular with overseas Chinese tourists, both in-store and also using the internet. This also helps to bridge the language barrier and reassure customers that they understand how much they are paying when it is coverted on their phones to show the amount ‘in local currency’.

UnionPay International also believes that there is a greater acceptance today that UnionPay cards provide significant services in both their card-based and contactless mobile forms.


Chinese travellers – and other nationalities – are also able to use them with Europcar Car Rental across 10 European countries, while both Moscow and St. Petersburg’s subway, bus and transport networks now accept the cards to buy travel tickets.


UnionPay says it is expecting heavy usage of its services now, with a recent survey suggesting that 54.3% of Chinese tourists choose to go on free-and-independent trips for this National Day Holiday.



In Europe, over 2.3m merchants now accept UnionPay cards, while in the US, almost all ATMs accept UnionPay for cash withdrawals, while more than 80% of local merchants are also said to accept UnionPay cards.


As more Chinese people prefer to pay with mobile phones, merchants are also accepting UnionPay mobile payment products.

UnionPay apps are also very ppular to assist instant payments

UnionPay apps are also very popular to assist with instant payments.


Recently, UnionPay mobile QuickPass service was launched in Greece, which enables UnionPay cardholders to pay with a tap-and-go move. Neither PIN nor signature is required for small-ticket payments. By the end of this year, Piraeus Bank, the largest bank group in Greece will enable 50,000 local merchants to support mobile QuickPass.


UnionPay mobile QuickPass also supports various payment methods, including the NFC and QR codes, with NFC now accepted at over 520,000 POS terminals in more than 10 countries and regions.


These include Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia and the UAE, while the QR Code QuickPass has been launched in Hong Kong and Singapore.






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