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UnionPay now enabled on Malaysia’s Sarawak Pay E-Wallet
New Progress Made in Interconnecting Payment Networks along the Belt and Road

UnionPay International (UPI) announced today that it has reached cooperation with the state government of Sarawak, Malaysia to have UnionPay QR code enabled on the state’s official e-wallet Sarawak Pay, which makes cross-border payments possible for the first time for the digital wallet. UnionPay has also become the first international card scheme implementing digital wallet collaboration with the state government. Cai Jianbo, President of China UnionPay and Chairman of UnionPay International, participated via video link in the launching ceremony which was attended by the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Zohari.

Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, and Sarawak Pay is the first official mobile payment tool launched by a state government in the country. Previously, the e-wallet was designed with a closed-loop model with its own accounts and acceptance use cases, and all merchants were based in Sarawak. UnionPay International has upgraded the product into an open wallet though its digital issuance technology. After applying for a virtual card in the wallet, Sarawak Pay users are now able to transact on UnionPay’s QR payment network in 45 countries and regions, Malaysia included. They can also make UnionPay online payments, which further optimizes payment experiences.

Mr. Cai noted that in recent years, UnionPay has been developing its digital capabilities and actively leveraging its strengths in technology and products to meet the needs for payment infrastructures, financial inclusion and online public services in the countries and regions along the Belt and Road, and to improve the interconnectivity of local payment networks. UnionPay will deepen its collaboration with the Sarawak Government to explore the possibility of implementing physical-virtual card issuance and mobile pay products in the state. Meanwhile, UnionPay will share its experience in assisting local governments in the delivery of shopping vouchers as part of pandemic response to help improve the efficiency of distributing and managing local economic relief funds.

“We have completed the integration work with UnionPay International (UPI) and I would like to thank UnionPay for collaborating with us. This effort is the result of the MOU which we signed with UnionPay International during our visit to China in April of 2019. I am happy to see that today we have successfully realized our aspirations to go global and that our Sarawak Pay eWallet can be used for cashless payment transactions internationally,” said the Chief Minister during the launch.

So far, UnionPay cards are accepted by more than 90% of merchants in Malaysia, and more than 2 million UnionPay cards have been issued in the country. In response to the new payment needs, UPI has implemented extensive cooperation with local financial institutions, telecom operators and other market players in recent years and has enabled more than 150,000 merchants for UnionPay mobile payment services. It has upgraded major local e-wallets, such as the Boost Mobile Wallet and GoPayz, to support UnionPay QR code. Huawei Pay, powered by UnionPay’s technology, was launched in Malaysia last year.

The UnionPay acceptance network has been extended to 179 countries and regions, over half of which, all ten ASEAN member states included, accept UnionPay mobile payments, either by QR or tap-and-go. Building on that, more than 90 e-wallets compliant with UnionPay specifications have been launched in 15 countries and regions outside Mainland China, bringing secure and convenient mobile payment services to an increasing number of consumers worldwide.

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