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UnionPay’s acceptance footprint extends to 174 countries and regions
Merchants outside mainland China accept UnionPay mobile payment services to welcome Chinese tourists for the upcoming Chinese New Year

With the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, approaching, many Chinese people are planning to celebrate it overseas. According to the Report on Spring Festival Holiday Tourism Trend (2019) recently released by Ctrip.com, 7 million Chinese are expected to spend the Spring Festival overseas this year, marking a new high. A Chinese OTA, glz.com.cn analysed flight ticket and hotel booking for this Spring Festival, and found that Chinese outbound tourists are traveling to more destinations, and emerging destinations such as Latin America, the Balkans, Laos and Myanmar will receive more Chinese tourists than in previous years.

In order to meet the payment needs of Chinese outbound tourists, UnionPay International is committed to improving the acceptance network outside mainland China. So far, the UnionPay acceptance footprint has extended to 174 countries and regions. In the second half of 2018, Serbia, Montenegro and Jamaica have started accepting UnionPay cards. On the eve of the Spring Festival, merchants in the UK, Poland and Georgia began accepting the UnionPay mobile payment services, offering more payment options to Chinese tourists.

UnionPay offers extensive and diverse payment services for Chinese outbound tourists

To date, UnionPay is accepted at more than 26 million merchants outside mainland China, covering both traditionally popular destinations and emerging destinations.

In Latin America, a new choice for many Chinese tourists, UnionPay is accepted in 14 countries and regions. In Argentina, the local ATM network RED LINK has enabled all its ATM terminals to accept UnionPay cards. Visitors to Argentina can now withdraw cash from over 60% of the local ATMs with UnionPay cards. UnionPay International has also cooperated with Jamaica Commercial Bank to offer UnionPay payment service in the country. Now, 70% of the local merchants accept UnionPay cards. UnionPay is also accepted by almost all ATMs in Panama and about 90% of ATMs in Mexico.

In answer to the changes in Chinese tourists' payment habits, more and more markets have offered UnionPay mobile payment services to attract Chinese customers. So far, users of the UnionPay app can enjoy UnionPay mobile payment services in 46 countries and regions worldwide. These include paying by scanning QR codes via the UnionPay app as well as by tapping mobile phones to pay after activate mobile QuickPass function.

Since December of 2018, merchants outside mainland China that accept UnionPay QR code payment has increased to 200,000, and the Philippines, Fiji and Georgia are among the latest markets that have started accepting this service. In the United States, UnionPay International partners with CITCON, a cross-border mobile payment service provider, to introduce UnionPay QR code payment service to local outlets, department stores, F&B merchants, and supermarkets favored by Chinese tourists, international students and local Chinese. In Thailand, UnionPay QR code payment is available in more areas, including campus, car rental merchants, and healthcare stores. In Australia, UnionPay QR code payment is accepted at all stores of Aumake. In the United Kingdom, Poland, and Kenya, hotels, restaurants, and retailers have started accepting UnionPay mobile QuickPass, UnionPay’s contactless payment solution, which enables UnionPay cardholders to make tap-and-go payments with their mobile phones.

Chinese Tourists can enjoy more while spend less during the Chinese New Year holiday

Lemon Zhang, who had travelled to Russia on New Year’s Day, shared her experience on social media: “The Radisson Royal in St. Petersburg is wonderful: many dishes to enjoy and with 5% discount for UnionPay cardholders!” With the travel peak of the Spring Festival approaching, merchants outside mainland China are offering special discounts to Chinese tourists: In the next month, UnionPay cardholders can enjoy up to 30%-off special discounts at tens of thousands of merchant locations across 30 countries and regions.

UnionPay cardholders are able to get substantial benefits in all aspects of their travels druing this Spring Festival. For example, in Tokyo, UnionPay cardholders will get a coupon when spending a certain amount with UnionPay cards at Matsuya department store in Ginza. In Singapore, cardholders can enjoy 15%-off discount when buying Sentosa Cable Car round-trip ticket using UnionPay cards. Anantara Hotel Resort offers UnionPay cardholders various privileges, including room booking, catering and spa treatments. Chinese tourists are entitled to various privileges at some niche attractions: UnionPay cardholders are offered discounts when taking a subscooter at Blue Safari in Mauritius, watching wildlife in South Africa, or experiencing indoor skydiving in Cairns.

So far, more than 100 million UnionPay cards have been issued in 51 countries and regions. During this Spring Festival, UnionPay cardholders can also enjoy the above-mentioned benefits. Many retailers and F&B merchants in China, such as Wagas in Shanghai, provide special discounts for foreign cardholders visiting China too.

Many merchants also offer special discounts for customers who pay with UnionPay mobile payment. 35 LAOX stores across 7 cities in Japan offer up to 2,000 yen discount for customers who pay with the UnionPay app. Customers who pay with UnionPay mobile QuickPass for a certain amount at the designated AWPL stores in New Zealand or at Woolworths supermarkets in Australia are offered instant discounts.

After shopping at over 300,000 merchant locations across 44 countries and regions, tourists can use UnionPay card to claim tax refund. In addition to the traditional airport and port tax refund service, UnionPay International also provides Early Tax Refund service at downtown in 14 countries such as France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

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