UnionPay International, BCEL and Lao Airlines to gearing up to launch the first aviation co-branded UnionPay credit card. The aviation co-branded UnionPay credit cards issued based on the partnership will cover classic cards, gold cards and platinum cards.
The cards have payment functions of common UnionPay cards and can be used safely and conveniently in the UnionPay acceptance network covering more than 150 countries and regions around the world. In addition, the cards feature various value-added services such as accumulation of air mileage, credit card mileage conversion, aviation accident insurance and VIP services at airports.
As the largest commercial bank in Laos, BCEL has enabled all of its ATMs and merchants to accept UnionPay cards. In 2011, the bank was the first to issue UnionPay cards in Laos. BCEL has so far issued 550,000 UnionPay debit cards, making it the largest UnionPay issuing bank in Laos. As the largest airline in Laos, Lao Airlines is the preferred option for local residents as it operates a wide range of flight routes, including international routes that cover Kunming, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.
Unionpay says Laos has become one of the emerging destinations of Chinese investment and China has been a major source of international tourists for Laos. Consistent with this trend, UnionPay card business has achieved substantive growth. First, 50% of the local ATMs and 60% of merchants accept UnionPay cards to satisfy payment needs for local cardholders and those visiting the country. Second, 560 thousand UnionPay cards have been issued, accounting for more than 70% of the 800 thousand local bank cards. UnionPay, the biggest bank card issuance brand in Laos, has supported the development of non-cash payment tools and bank card markets. Third, UnionPay participates in the bank card payment system development of Laos.
Currently, UnionPay International has cooperated with multiple mainstream institutions in Laos to launch diversified UnionPay cards for different groups. For instance, UnionPay International cooperated with BCEL and Laos Ministry of Education and launched UnionPay card products with student card functions.
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