The number of Japanese merchants accepting the China UnionPay card has soared 20% over the past year to nearly 400,000.
The weak Yen and easing of the Japanese visa policy is attracting more Chinese tourists this year as UnionPay adds special incentives.
UnionPay International is also accelerating the expansion of the UnionPay card acceptance network coverage and enhancing card-using service. Currently, UnionPay cardholders can withdraw Japanese Yen from 70,000 ATMs in Japan. The merchant acceptance network covers not only airport duty-free shops, department stores and large appliance chains but also daily consumer places such as convenience stores, drugstores and supermarkets. In the near future, cardholders can also pay conveniently with UnionPay cards in local railway stations, airports and more local fashion stores.
The increasingly improved card-using service has attracted cardholders from different countries and regions to frequently use UnionPay cards in Japan. For example, more and more residents from Hong Kong and South Korea prefer to pay with UnionPay cards while visiting Japan. In the first quarter of this year, the UnionPay card transaction volume in Japan doubled year on year. During the Spring Festival, Japan was one of the overseas markets where UnionPay card transaction volume saw the fastest growth.
During the May Day Holiday, UnionPay cardholders can enjoy up to 10% off at over 200 merchants in 6 major business districts (Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills, Venus Fort Odaiba, Laforet Harajuku, Akasaka, and Toranomon Hills) under the Mori Tower Tokyo, with some of offering exquisite gifts. UnionPay cardholders can also enjoy up to 5% off in shopping malls including the Matsuya Ginza, Yodobashi Camera, Keio Department Store and Marui as well as multiple privileges at duty-free shops in 26 major airports including the Narita International Airport, Haneda International Airport and Kansai International Airport.
In the meantime, Chinese tourists are able to apply for the Japan Dragon Travel Credit Card jointly issued by UnionPay International and CCB to enjoy exclusive privileges and services in transportation, telecommunication, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping and catering when traveling in Japan.
Statistics from the Japan Tourism Agency shows that a total of 2.41 million Chinese tourists visited Japan in 2014, up by 83% year on year. The per capita spending reached 231,700 Yen (about 14,100 Yuan) and brings new business opportunities to Japanese merchants. From January to February 2015, Chinese tourists visiting Japan doubled year on year to reach a total of 585,000. The annual figure for 2015 is expected to exceed 3.5 million, making China the largest tourist source country to Japan.
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