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UnionPay card will be issued for the first time by a European financial institution
2017-11-21


At the 2017 The Bund Global Financial Summit held on Nov. 20, UnionPay International and Millennium bcp, the largest private bank in Portugal, jointly announced to have signed an agreement to issue UnionPay chip contactless credit cards in Portugal next year, both Commercial and Consumer cards. This is the first time that UnionPay cards are issued by a non-Chinese issuer in Europe. Larry Wang, Vice-President of UnionPay International, Joao Nuno Palma, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of Millennium bcp signed the agreement.

It is increasingly convenient to use UnionPay cards in Europe nowadays. UnionPay is accepted in 39 countries and regions in Europe, covering more than 2.3 million merchants. These merchants account for half of the merchants accepting bankcards in Europe, and include not only department stores and duty free shops, but also an increasing number of hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and entertainment establishments. In Portugal, for example, UnionPay cards are accepted at over 90% of the local ATMs and more than half of the POS terminals that accept international bankcards. Chinese institutions such as Bank of China have issued UnionPay cards in Europe.

Previously, UnionPay cards are accepted at all the ATMs and POS terminals of Millennium bcp. This time, UnionPay International and Millennium bcp have agreed to issue about 30,000 UnionPay Travel Mate Asia cards next year, offering new payment options for the Portuguese residents, especially those often travel to Asia. The UnionPay credit card to be issued has the “QuickPass” signage and is equipped with UnionPay QuickPass function. Cardholders may tap and pay with the card at more than 10 million POS terminals worldwide. In the future, the two will extend the card-issuing cooperation to other markets where Millennium bcp has a presence.

Larry Wang said, multiple UnionPay card products are issued in Asia, proving that UnionPay’s service capability, card-using privilege platforms and brand influence is gaining recognition of institutions and customers outside mainland China. Over the past few years, the UnionPay acceptance network in Europe has expanded substantially, not only providing better payment service for cardholders visiting Europe, but also laying a solid foundation for local issuance of UnionPay cards. This card-issuing cooperation with Millennium bcp marks a breakthrough in UnionPay’s expansion in Europe. And we hope to take it as a good example to promote more institutions to issue UnionPay cards in Europe, in order to meet customers’ diverse payment demands.

“This is an important step for Millennium, as it opens the door to a vast and growing market with excellent potential,” said Nuno Amado, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Millennium bcp. “Not only will we be able to offer our customers in Portugal and in other key markets a new and innovative payment system with increasing acceptance all over the world, but we will also be able to serve international UnionPay customers.”

The latest data show that, as of the end of September 2017, more than 81 million UnionPay cards are issued in over 40 countries and regions outside the Chinese Mainland. Hong Kong, Macau, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and markets along the Belt and Road are all major card-issuing markets for UnionPay. In terms of cards issued, UnionPay is the No.1 bankcard brand in Laos, Mongolia and Myanmar, and No.2 in Pakistan. In Hong Kong, more than half of the newly-issued credit cards are UnionPay cards, and more than 90% debit cards in circulation are UnionPay cards.

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