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    UnionPay International reaches collaboration with Standard Bank

    Ge Huayong (3rd left), Chairman of China UnionPay, and Sim Tshabalala (3rd right), CEO of Standard Bank Group, attended the signing ceremony

    UnionPay International announced today that it has signed a cooperation agreement with Standard Bank the largest bank in Africa. According to the agreement, Standard Bank, which is already accepting UnionPay cards at all of its ATM and POS terminals in South Africa, plans to issue the first UnionPay card for local customers in South Africa, and will expand the UnionPay acceptance network across 10 African countries. Ge Huayong, Chairman of China UnionPay, and Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank Group, attended the signing ceremony.

    With the implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, China and Africa are carrying out closer communication in the fields of trade, investment, infrastructure construction and tourism. In line with this trend, UnionPay International is accelerating its cooperation with major institutions in Africa to improve its acceptance network across the continent. So far, UnionPay is accepted in 50 countries and regions in Africa, with an overall acceptance rate of more than 75%. In South Africa, in particular, UnionPay cardholders are already able to enjoy a seamless payment experience.

    Today, UnionPay International have reached agreement with Standard Bank, who is present in 20 countries and regions in Africa, in three aspects: First, is to accelerate the issuance of the first UnionPay card in South Africa. Second, is to enable key online merchants such as hotel groups and airlines in South Africa to accept UnionPay Online Payment to provide better service to free-and-independent tourists visiting South Africa. Third, is to further expand the UnionPay acceptance footprint in 10 countries in Africa, including Namibia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.

    Ge Huayong said that the full-scale collaboration between the two businesses will further ensure smooth cross-border payment between China and Africa, offering stronger support for China-Africa trade and personnel exchanges. On the basis of constantly improving our acceptance network and promoting local card issuance, UnionPay is willing to carry out extensive collaboration with local institutions in Africa, and will expedite the launching of our innovative payment products, such as UnionPay QR code payment and UnionPay cross-border B2B platform to offer tailored payment services to the local markets and customers, and to support the development of financial inclusion in Africa.

    Mr. Tshabalala said, China is widely acknowledged for the pivotal role it plays in driving Africa’s economic growth. It is Africa’s largest economic partner, recording trade growth of about 20% a year over the last 20 years. Chinese foreign domestic investment has grown at the rate of 40% per year over the last decade. As many as 10 000 Chinese-owned firms are operating across the continent. Simultaneously, growing numbers of African businesses, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to corporation, are doing business in China. The partnership will play an important role in expanding the commercial ties that join our regions, accelerating economic development, job creation and industrialisation. We are honoured to be the first African bank to be licensed to issue UnionPay cards in South Africa.

    In Africa, UnionPay has reached about 100% acceptance in Kenya, Seychelles, Uganda and Morocco. The “UnionPay” app users can also scan and pay at merchants in Kenya, Djibouti and Mauritius. Multiple UnionPay card products have been issued in countries such as Mauritius, Kenya, Seychelles, Congo (DRC) and Madagascar.

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