Nowadays, China’s financial technical standards have become an important impetus for the upgrading of the payments industry abroad. The payment switch networks in Serbia, Belarus and Tajikistan are being built or upgraded as per the UnionPay standards. And more than ten countries such as Albania, Bulgaria and Tanzania have expressed their wish to have UnionPay help them build up payment switch network.
“The smooth payment and settlement serve as an essential precondition and fundamental guarantee for unblocked trades and monetary circulation worldwide”. According to Shi Wenchao, President of China UnionPay, UnionPay is supporting the realization of international payments interconnection through expanding its card acceptance and card issuance, promoting innovative products and services, and carrying out cooperation in payments network and payments standards, to serve the personnel exchange between China and the world.
For instance, over 50 countries and regions along the Belt and Road now have accepted UnionPay cards, and have issued more than 25 million UnionPay cards. UnionPay cards are accepted at over 4 million merchants and 400,000 ATMs in the region, increasing by 14 times, 2 times and 1 time respectively compared with that before the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative. And in some regions, UnionPay cards have realized or will realize the barrier-free acceptance of UnionPay cards.
The interconnection of payments network in the region is accelerating.
Over the past few years, UnionPay upgrades business cooperation to technical standards collaboration through participating in the construction of payment infrastructure in markets outside mainland China and chip card standards licensing. For instance, the bankcard switch systems in Thailand and Laos are built based on the UnionPay standards. This July, UnionPay has reached a consensus with the Bank of Tajikistan and will participate in the construction of the local bankcard switch network. In the same month, UnionPay has agreed to update the Belarus payments system together with Belkart.
Last month, Shi Wenchao signed an agreement with President of Central Bank of Serbia, agreeing to promote the full acceptance and local issuance of UnionPay cards in the country, and to carry out chip standard licensing and collaborate in payments innovation.
Shi Wenchao said, “The technology, standards, systems and rules independently developed by UnionPay have been widely recognized by the global payments industry. UnionPay is willing to share our experience to support other countries to upgrade their payments networks, enhancing their financial service capacity, and providing substantial value to our partner institutions, while accelerating the localization of the UnionPay business.”
In addition, many markets wish to adopt UnionPay chip card standards. Now, UnionPay chip card standard is chosen to be the officially recommended standard of the payments industry in Thailand and Myanmar, and is also the uniform cross-border chip card standard for Asian Payment Network. Based on this chip standard licensing, BancNet, the switch network in the Philippines, and Rintis, the ATM switch network in Indonesia, will issue chip cards with UnionPay standards in large scale.
The roll-out of UnionPay innovative products becomes a new highlight.
UnionPay is making breakthroughs in card acceptance and issuance in markets outside China. UnionPay is fully accepted in the UAE and at almost all POS terminals and over 70% of ATMs in Pakistan. The UnionPay acceptance coverage in Kazakhstan will reach 95% within this year. UnionPay will also be accepted in Montenegro and Albania.
While its acceptance scope keeps expanding, the UnionPay card is favored by more and more customers outside China. In Laos, Mongolia and Myanmar, UnionPay is the No.1 bankcard brand in terms of card issuance. In Pakistan, UnionPay is the No.2 international card brand in terms of card issuance. UnionPay cards are issued by all the 10 ASEAN countries too.
UnionPay innovative payments services are launched in more and more countries, supporting the realization of financial inclusion in these countries. In Russia, UnionPay mobile QuickPass is accepted at the POS terminals of more than 200,000 merchants. In Thailand, UnionPay QR Code standard will be the recommended standards of the Central Bank of Thailand. And within this year, Singapore customers will be able to use UnionPay QR Code payment locally and abroad.