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Cuba will issue its first UnionPay card
UnionPay cards have realized full acceptance in Cuba

On April 7, UnionPay International announced its deepened cooperation with RED.S.A, an acquirer in Cuba, in issuing the first UnionPay card (card number starting with 62) in the market through RED.S.A’s partner BISCA. Mr. Shi Wenchao, President of China UnionPay, and Jorge Sánchez, President of RED.S.A, attended the signing ceremony; Irma Martínez Castrillón, First Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Cuba and leaders of many Cuban institutions were also present.

Cuba is the first Latin American country that has established diplomatic relations with China. Over the years, the two countries have witnessed close economic, trade and personnel exchanges between each other. Currently, there are over 80 China-funded organizations residing in Cuba. Meanwhile, having received over 3.5 million international tourists, Cuba is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the Caribbean area. Against this background, UnionPay International continued to accelerate its business development in Cuba and has generally realized full acceptance of UnionPay cards in Cuba through its cooperation with RED.S.A.

So far, no bankcards of international card brand have been issued in Cuba, and RED.S.A is the only bankcard brand in the local market. The UnionPay-RED.S.A Card issued this time is an international payment card which can be used not only in Cuba but also in UnionPay network across 157 countries and regions. It will provide local residents with convenient payment service for their daily spending and international traveling. This card will choose RED.S.A as the routing option in Cuba and UnionPay outside Cuba.

Mr. Shi Wenchao extended his gratitude to Central Bank of Cuba for its long-term support for UnionPay. He said, “This card-issuing cooperation with RED.S.A marks a significant breakthrough of UnionPay in Cuban market. UnionPay International not only continues to offer convenient and secure services to UnionPay cardholders visiting Cuba but will also provide local residents with a new choice of payment for their daily life and international traveling. Next, we will proactively push forward the implementation of the card-issuing project with our partners, and will discuss future cooperation in more fields like chip card migration, and support the enhancement of the e-payment service level in Cuban market.”

Irma Martínez Castrillón thinks highly of the support given by UnionPay International for Cuban bankcard industry. She said, “Currently, Cuba is exploring economic and financial reforms. Convenient payment service is very important to local economic development and cross-border personnel exchanges. Central Bank of Cuba will continue to provide support UnionPay International to deepen its cooperation with Cuban financial institutions. I hope UnionPay cards will play an important role in promoting the exchanges between Cuba and the rest of the world.”

Jorge Sánchez said, “UnionPay International is a very important partner of RED.S.A. We have founded a good basis for cooperation. I hope that we can carry out cooperation in more fields in the future to jointly improve our services to clients and bring more opportunities to local merchants.”

At present, UnionPay has presence in 12 countries and regions in Latin America, including emerging tourist destinations such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bahamas, Surinam and Cuba. UnionPay card acceptance outlets are mainly located in major cities and scenic regions, covering scenic spots, malls, duty free shops, and restaurants most frequented by tourists.

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