MAG Insights

Announcements from the MAG & Featured Articles

Innovate Now: Why Accept UnionPay Cards? (MAG Quarterly- Volume Four, Issue Three)


By Miriam Park, General Manager, China UnionPay (USA) LLC

September 1, 2016

UnionPay, the recognized fastest-growing international bankcard scheme, is providing payment service for the world’s largest cardholder base. The UnionPay card is not only the most commonly-used payment method of the Chinese outbound tourists, but is also favored by an increasing number of global consumers.

Established in 2002, UnionPay is an international bankcard scheme. Over the past ten years or so, UnionPay has expanded its acceptance network to 160 countries and regions, covering 35 million merchants and over 2 million ATMs, and is recognized as the fastest-growing international bankcard scheme. In 2015, the total inter-bank transaction volume of UnionPay cards reached 53.9 trillion yuan (approx. $8.63 trillion), with a year-on-year growth of 31.2%.

With over 5.4 billion UnionPay cards issued cumulatively around the world, UnionPay is delivering payment service to the world’s largest cardholder base, and is recognized and favored by more and more consumers around the world. Since UnionPay cardholders are with considerable purchasing power, more and more merchants accept UnionPay cards to attract customers.

The Chinese tourists, in particular, are used to pay with UnionPay cards, therefore, accepting UnionPay cards, the payment method familiar to the Chinese tourists, will undoubtedly help merchants attract more Chinese customers. In 2015, 2.67 million Chinese tourists visited the US, marking a year-on-year growth of 17%. As the National Travel and Tourism Office of USA estimates, China is going to be largest tourist source country for the US in three years. With an expenditure of over $6,000 (approx. 38,200 yuan) per capita in the US, 30% higher than other international tourists, the Chinese tourists have brought remarkable influence to the US economy.

Adhering to the core value of “shared growth and win-win cooperation,” UnionPay provides quality services for consumers together with its partners. UnionPay launches exclusive offers and privileges at many merchants: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Beverly Center, South Coast Plaza, duty-free shops at major airports, and dozens of Outlets, to name but a few. UnionPay is also willing to share its abundant domestic and overseas market resources with partners in order to better promote cooperation projects.

Now, almost all the ATMs in the US accept UnionPay cards for cash withdrawal. 80% of the merchants support signature payment with UnionPay credit cards, and Macy’s, Best Buy, airport duty-free shops and other merchants with PIN pads accept UnionPay debit cards. The payment method complies with the local practice while guarantees card-using security. In addition, many major US-based online merchants like Amazon and eBay support UnionPay online payment. The online and offline transaction volume of UnionPay cards keeps growing.