On January 2, China UnionPay released its transaction data during the New Year’s holiday. During the 2018 New Year’s holiday (from December 30, 2017 to January 1, 2018), the total UnionPay transaction volume reached a new record high of 700.8 billion yuan, growing by 36.8% compared with that of the 2017 New Year’s holiday (from December 31, 2016 to January 2, 2017). In mobile payments in particular, the transaction number and volume of UnionPay QR code, driven by the launch of the “Mobile QuickPass” APP, increased by 11.6 and 19.8 times respectively compared to last Dragon Boat Festival holiday (from May 28 to 30, 2017).
In terms of overall spending structure, shopping is the major part of customers’ spending and grew by 41.9% year-on-year as many merchants were offering year-end promotions. 83% of the total purchasing was at supermarkets, general merchandise and household appliances merchants.
UnionPay data also show that cardholders’ spending for catering and shopping increased by 148% and 121% respectively at the mid night of New Year’s Day compared to that of last year. The transaction volume of UnionPay cards at food and beverage merchants in mainland China grew by 70% year-on-year during this New Year’s holiday.
Transportation is a major spending field too since many people travel during the Holiday. During this holiday, the transaction volume of public transport including aviation, railway and expressway witnessed a year-on-year growth of 43.6%. Refueling spending grew by 48.1% compared with the same period of last year since more people went on self-driving tours.
It is worth noting that, the launch of the unified APP of China’s banking industry, “Mobile QuickPass”, as well as the year-end special offers provided by UnionPay boosted the use of UnionPay mobile payments including UnionPay QR code and UnionPay contactless QuickPass during the Holiday. The transaction number and volume of UnionPay mobile payments increased by 3.5 times and 2.5 times respectively, compared to last Dragon Boat Festival. In particular, the transaction number and volume via UnionPay QR code grew by 11.6 times and 19.8 times respectively.
In addition, the Chinese tourists have got used to paying with UnionPay cards when traveling abroad. During the New Year’s holiday, tourists are using UnionPay cards in more destinations. Emerging tourist destinations such as India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Czech Republic become the “new favorites” of Chinese tourists. As the consumption of free-and-independent tourists becomes more diverse, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards at catering, accommodation, entertainment, tourist attractions and travel booking merchants grew remarkably.
Benefitted from the increasingly expanding acceptance of UnionPay mobile QuickPass outside mainland China, the transaction volume of UnionPay mobile payment at merchants in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia has multiplied. And many tourists enjoyed UnionPay-exclusive privileges when traveling abroad. For instance, the download and use of the U Plan e-coupon grew by more than 2 times compared to that of last year.