UnionPay International reached cooperation in card issuance with major institutions in the Asia Pacific
UnionPay steps up its issuance business overseas to support personnel exchanges between China and the rest of the world
2019-12-05

Figure 1: Start from left: Deputy General Manager of Bank of China Macau Branch Mr. Chen Xiaoping, Vice President of Bangkok Bank Mr. Shoke Na Ranong, CEO of UnionPay International Mr. Li Xiaofeng, President of Bangkok Bank Mr. Chartsiri Sophonpanich, Chairman of China UnionPay Mr. Shao Fujun, Senior Advisor of Bank of China Hong Kong Mr. Wang Yunchao, Chairman of UnionPay International Mr. Cai Jianbo, First Senior Vice President of KBank Ms. Phonpimol Pathomsak, CEO of PAObank Mr. Feng Yulong 

Figure 2: Chairman of China UnionPay Mr. Shao Fujun giving a speech ELODMZS87QIT

On December 5, UnionPay International and 8 mainstream institutions in 5 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region held a collective card issuing agreement signing and business launching ceremony in Shanghai during its joint meeting of its Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Pacific Regional Member Councils. Shao Fujun, Chairman of China UnionPay, and Cai Jianbo, Chariman of UnionPay International attended the ceremony, and Li Xiaofeng, CEO of UnionPay International signed agreements with heads of partner institutions.

The partner institutions in concern include Bank of China Hong Kong, Bank of China Macau Branch, PAObank, Bangkok Bank, KBank, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, and Wooricard of South Korea, etc. The partnerships cover the issuance of multiple physical card products, digital card and card product promotion, marking the newest progress in the localization of UnionPay business in Asia Pacific.

The localization of UnionPay International business is entering a new stage, under which background a total of about 130 million UnionPay cards have been issued in 57 countries and regions outside mainland China relying on the acceptance network covering 177 countries and regions. Since this year, the number of transactions made with these UnionPay cards has increased by about 40%, and UnionPay cards have been widely used in mainland China. Last year, about 18 million UnionPay cards were issued in the Asia-Pacific region, the main area where UnionPay cards were issued, accounting for about 30% of the total bankcards newly issued in 2018 in the region.

Shao Fuqjun said in his greeting remarks that with the rapid development of financial technologies, the global payments industry is undergoing fundamental changes: becoming more and more convenient, open and orderly. The Member Councils of UnionPay International is a significant platform for UPI to communicate with its members, and UnionPay also expects the Councils to be a platform for deeper collaboration in system building, technical standards, acceptance and issuance, mobile payments, supporting services and payments digitalization among stakeholders in the industry. UnionPay is willing to seize the opportunities together with its partners to provide even better payment services to customers.

According to the agreements signed on this event, Bank of China Hong Kong will issue UnionPay credit cards whose holders will be allowed to enjoy UnionPay mobile payment services; Bank of China Macau Branch will carry out UnionPay card product promotion activities to attract cardholders to use UnionPay cards in their purchases; and PAObank will be the first virtual bank in cooperation with UnionPay International to issue UnionPay virtual debit cards to consumers in Hong Kong. Besides, Bangkok Bank, the largest commercial bank in Thailand, will issue in large scale TPN-UnionPay dual-label debit cards in Thailand, and KBank, the second largest bank in Thailand, will issue UnionPay credit cards, which is the first-time large-scale issuance of UnionPay credit card in Thailand.

At the ceremony, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia issued the UnionPay Diamond Credit card first ever in Mongolia, and Wooricard of South Korea issued K-CHECK UnionPay debit cards, which is the first local UnionPay card product issued particularly for foreigners in South Korea.

UnionPay card has become one of the major payment options for consumers in many countries and regions outside mainland China. Among the aforementioned markets, UnionPay is the largest card scheme in terms of issuance in Mongolia; UnionPay cards have been issued in all 10 member states of ASEAN; UnionPay accounts for over 90% of debit cards in circulation in Hong Kong and 50% of the local newly-issued credit cards; 95% of debit cards in circulation in Macau are UnionPay cards; and in terms of the number of cards issued, an average of 4 out of 5 people in South Korea have a UnionPay card.

In recent years, UnionPay International have set up Regional Member Councils in key regions, aiming to build open platforms for cooperation among members. This joint meeting of Regional Councils is attended by representatives from over 40 members from 19 markets including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal and Australia, etc.