UnionPay cardholders will enjoy convenient payment experience in Russia next yearMake easier contactless payment via the App of Mobile QuickPass
UnionPay International is sparing no efforts in expanding its acceptance network in Russia these days. It is expected that UnionPay will be accepted at more than 90% of the local ATMs and POS terminals before the 2018 World Cup, and cardholders will be able to enjoy convenient payment experiences in cities like Moscow, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg and Volgograd. At present, the acceptance coverage of UnionPay in Russia is over 85%, with 400,000 POS terminals accepting UnionPay QuickPass, UnionPay’s contactless payment solution.
Russia is the largest market along the “Belt and Road”, and the implementation of the Initiative further promoted the trade and economic cooperation as well as personnel exchanges between China and Russia. Today, Russia has become a popular destination for Chinese outbound tourists. According to the latest statistical data issued by “World Without Borders”, about 900,000 Chinese tourists of “visa-free” group tour visited Russia in 2017, witnessing a year-on-year growth of 18%; and it is expected that at least 100,000 Chinese tourists will visit Russia for the World Cup next summer. It is commented that convenient payment service has become a key element in enhancing Chinese tourists’ travel experience in Russia.
In answering to this, UnionPay International kept enhancing its cooperation with the Russia’s banking industry this year. In May, Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, started accepting UnionPay cards, substantially expanding UnionPay’s acceptance scope. In August, VTB-24, the second largest bank in Russia, which had fully accepted UnionPay at its ATMs further enabled all of its merchants to accept UnionPay cards. The number of UnionPay-accepting merchants and ATMs in Russia increased by over 100% in 2017 alone, reaching 630,000 merchants and 100,000 ATMs in total.
UnionPay QuickPass becomes a new feature of UnionPay’s service in Russia. Tourists visiting Russia may install the App of “Mobile QuickPass” to activate the function of UnionPay mobile QuickPass, to make safer and smoother mobile payments at the local supermarkets, electronics stores, KFC and McDonald’s by tapping mobile phones.
Recently, about 10,000 stores of the largest supermarket chain, X5, and Lenta megamarkets have fully accepted UnionPay cards, supporting UnionPay QuickPass as well. Customers may tap and pay with QuickPass-enabled smartphones and UnionPay IC cards. UnionPay is also accepted at the gas stations of BP and Rosneft across Russia. And Russian Railways will accept UnionPay cards at all its ticket counters and ticket machines at the beginning of 2018.
With UnionPay’s acceptance network optimizing continuously in Russia, more and more local residents are signing up for UnionPay cards. To date, about 1.3 million UnionPay cards are issued by over 10 local banks, including Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank. In this July, UnionPay International reached card-issuance cooperation with NSPK, and NSPK’s member bank Rosselkhozbank has issued the first UnionPay-MIR debit card, expanding the usage scope of MIR cards, which were only able to be used in Russia, to over 160 countries and regions where UnionPay is present.
In addition, Russian merchants also provide abundant privileges for UnionPay cardholders. For instance, cardholders may enjoy up to 10% off at TSUM, the largest department store in Moscow, 10% off and multiple VIP privileges at Radisson Hotel, and up to 400 rouble discount when buying tickets at the largest digital cinema chain, KARO.