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UnionPay makes another business localization breakthrough along the Belt and Road
First UnionPay card issued in Belarus

UnionPay International announced today the issuance of the first UnionPay card in Belarus in collaboration with Belgazprombank. According to the plan, the two parties will jointly issue 20,000 UnionPay cards in 2019. These include payroll cards targeted at local residents to facilitate residents’ daily consumption and cross-border travel. With this progress, the number of countries and regions that have issued UnionPay cards has increased to 52, 36 of which are along the Belt and Road region.

As one of the first countries that have joined the Belt and Road Initiative, Belarus plays a significant role in the region. And China has been its third largest trading partner and the second largest source of imports for many consecutive years. A mutual visa-free policy was implemented by the two countries in 2018, which, as predicted by local tourism authorities, will drive the Chinese tourists visiting Belarus to grow by over 15% annually. In recent years, UnionPay International has accelerated the expansion of its business in Belarus: Belgazprombank have enabled all its ATMs and merchants to accept UnionPay cards, and major institutions such as Belarusbank and BPS-Sberbank have established comprehensive partnership with UnionPay International. It is expected that UnionPay’s acceptance coverage rate in Belarus will exceed 60% this year, with UnionPay mobile QuickPass available at more than 20,000 POS terminals.

Based on its continuously improving acceptance environment in Belarus, UnionPay International and Belgazprombank now achieved a breakthrough in card issuance to offer stronger support to the exchanges between China and Belarus. Local residents are already able to sign up for UnionPay chip debit cards at various branches of Belgazprombank so as to enjoy payment services in the UnionPay network worldwide. Some of the UnionPay cards issued this time are payroll cards targeted at local enterprise employees. Many institutions in Belarus are planning to issue UnionPay cards too this year.

With the in-depth implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the ties between China and the Far Eastern Europe and Central Asia are becoming closer. In this context, UnionPay International is accelerating the improvement of its acceptance environment in the region while promoting the localization of its business. At present, UnionPay has achieved 90% acceptance coverage in Russia, where more than 1.5 million UnionPay cards are issued and more than one million POS terminals accepting UnionPay mobile QuickPass. Huawei Pay, one of the solutions offered by UnionPay mobile QuickPass is also available to UnionPay cardholders in Russia. In Kazakhstan, UnionPay has basically achieved 100% acceptance with an issuance of 1.8 million cards. UnionPay International has also reached partnership with National Bank of Ukraine to issue the first UnionPay card in Ukraine.

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