China’s UnionPay International and ATF Bank of Kazakhstan and its subsidiary OPTIMA Bank of Kyrgyzstan jointly announce OPTIMA Bank begins to issue UnionPay cards.
Kyrgyzstan is the gateway of China to Central Asia and an important node of the Silk Road economic belt. Currently in Kyrgyzstan, UnionPay cards are accepted by 20% of ATMs as well as merchants located in places frequently visited by tourists. With the advancement of the “One Belt One Road” strategy, the Central Asia region has witnessed rapid expansion of UnionPay card acceptance coverage, and more and more local institutions have started large-scale issuance of UnionPay cards. UnionPay cards have not only met the needs for personnel exchanges between China and the Central Asia region but also brought more convenient and secure payment services to the surrounding areas including Central Asia, Europe and Russia.
OPTIMA Bank is the largest bank in Kyrgyzstan. Its parent bank ATF Bank is the fifth largest commercial bank in Kazakhstan, which has launched UnionPay card acceptance by all its ATMs and merchants and started to issue UnionPay cards since the end of last year. According to the agreement, OPTIMA Bank will issue UnionPay cards including regular, gold and diamond cards. Currently, these cards can be conveniently used on the UnionPay card acceptance network in over 150 countries and regions, especially in China where UnionPay cards can be accepted by almost all POS terminals and ATMs. As the first UnionPay diamond card issued in the Central Asia region, the card will also be granted diverse privileges including merchant offers and airport VIP services.
It is becoming increasingly convenient to use UnionPay cards in many countries and regions related to the “One Belt One Road” strategy. Currently, UnionPay cards are accepted by 70% of ATMs and over 50% of merchants in Kazakhstan, which are located in airports, train stations, hotels and supermarkets. UnionPay cards are accepted by 70% of ATMs and nearly 90% of POS terminals in Pakistan. In the meantime, rapid growth of UnionPay card issuance has been witnessed in Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Lebanon.
For data, background and forecasts on the UnionPay: Search CardWeb.com’s CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 archived articles; Access CardWeb.com’s CardData® for current and historical Performance, Portfolios, Profiles, etc. Visit RAM Research® (ramresearch.com) for quarterly and annual forecasts covering more than 150 metrics. [complimentary or deeply discounted access to CardWeb.com subscribers].
Additional database resources include CardWeb.com’s CardExecs® – comings & goings of payments movers & shakers; CardWeb.com’s CardWatch® – ears & eyes on marketing globally (57K items); and CardWeb.com’s CardPixes® – form & function of card design (7K items).