UnionPay International today announced that it has signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Steward Bank, one of the largest local banks in Zimbabwe, to expand its acceptance network, issue UnionPay cards, and roll out UnionPay mobile payments. Steward Bank will issue the first UnionPay card in Zimbabwe and launch the UnionPay mobile payment service in large scale.
In Zimbabwe, more than 95% of daily consumptions are completed by making payments via mobile payment, card, or bank transfer. There is a strong demand for digital payments from local residents and visiting tourists. Under this circumstance, through cooperating with Barclays Africa, CABS, and other mainstream institutions, many merchants in the sectors of tourism and retail in Zimbabwe has accepted UnionPay cards. Some of them also support UnionPay QR code.
This partnership between UnionPay International and Steward Bank will increasingly promote the digital payment in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the service scope of UnionPay cards will firstly be provided to local residents. First, all POS terminals of this bank will accept UnionPay cards during this year. The acceptance rate of UnionPay cards in Zimbabwe will reach 80%. Second, Steward Bank will issue 200,000 UnionPay cards in five years, including some Asia Prestige UnionPay theme cards. Third, in the near future, Steward Bank will open 20,000 local merchants to support UnionPay QR code scanning payment service and UnionPay mobile QuickPass service. Next, the two sides will also promote Steward Bank’s wallet products to accept UnionPay QR code scanning payment service, allowing local residents to enjoy UnionPay mobile payment service.
In view of the increasingly close relationship between China and Africa under the “Belt and Road” framework, UnionPay International is accelerating its business layout in Africa. At present, there are 50 countries and regions in Africa supporting UnionPay cards with overall acceptance rate reaching nearly 80%. In particular, the acceptance rate of many cities, such as Nairobi and Casablanca, has reached 100%. Besides, UnionPay cards have been successfully issued in 11 countries and regions including Mauritius, Kenya and Seychelles. In addition, visitors now are also allowed to make payments through UnionPay App at some merchants in Kenya, Djibouti and Mauritius.