UnionPay has achieved much progress in the localization of its business outside mainland China. UnionPay International announced today that about 20 million more UnionPay cards are issued outside the Chinese Mainland in 2017, increasing the total number of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China to about 90 million. The transaction volume of these overseas-issued UnionPay cards grew by about 40% year-on-year, and the transaction volume of these cards in mainland China has kept growing for several consecutive years.
Cardholders from the Belt and Road like to use UnionPay cards in China
According to the latest data released on China’s National Tourism Conference, China has become the world’s fourth largest inbound tourism market, receiving about 140 million tourists in 2017. While the number of tourists to China continues to grow, the number of tourists from countries and regions along the Belt and Road is growing even faster. With this trend, UnionPay is encouraging global tourists to visit China by enlarging card-issuing scale outside mainland China and enhancing card-using services and privileges, offering bi-directional support for the personnel exchanges between China and the world.
By the end of 2017, about 90 million UnionPay cards are issued in 48 countries and regions outside mainland China, and over 25 million are issued in the Belt and Road markets. For instance, UnionPay has become the No.1 bankcard brand in terms of cards issued in Laos, Mongolia and Myanmar. More than 4.1 million UnionPay cards are issued in Pakistan, making UnionPay the second largest international card brand in terms of card issuance in Pakistan. Over 10 local banks in Russia have issued 1.3 million UnionPay cards.
Now, UnionPay cards have become a major payment method for tourists from some countries and regions when they visit China. UnionPay cardholders from countries and regions along the Belt and Road like to use UnionPay cards in mainland China. In 2017, the transaction volume of Pakistan-issued UnionPay cards in mainland China grew by over 2 times, and that of UnionPay cards issued in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan increased by about 50%.
UnionPay cardholders from other countries and regions brought more business opportunities to merchants in the Chinese Mainland. In 2017, overseas cardholders used UnionPay cards in 31 provinces in China. Hangzhou, Chengdu and Xiamen witnessed the fastest growth in the transaction volume of overseas-issued UnionPay cards. Besides shopping, inbound cardholders are spending more on entertainment, catering and accommodation.
Offer payment services to customers outside mainland China
With the localization of UnionPay’s business outside mainland China, the international feature of the UnionPay network becomes more obvious. Since last November, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China has surpassed that of mainland China-issued UnionPay outside the Chinese Mainland.
Over 90% of the transaction of UnionPay cards issued in Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Central Asia happen locally, meaning that UnionPay has become a major payment method for the residents in these markets. Moreover, cardholders outside mainland China like to use cards in their global travels. For instance, the cross-border transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued in Thailand, Pakistan and Kazakhstan grew by over 100% in 2017, and the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China in Europe and America grew by more than 20%.
Global UnionPay cardholders are able to enjoy more value-added services. UnionPay cardholders may apply for emergent cash assistance in 220 countries and regions, enjoy UnionPay tax refund service after shopping in 38 overseas countries and regions, and get free access to the VIP lounge at some shopping centers and airports. In addition, overseas cardholders with UnionPay premium cards may enjoy global assistance, global concierge, airport VIP lounge and other exclusive services.