China’s UnionPay has become the only international bankcard association offering Chinese Visa application VIP express service. UnionPay cardholders can apply at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centers in five cities in Australia, namely Sidney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth. This service will substantially shorten the processing time, and will soon be rolled out in some of the other countries where UnionPay cards have been issued.
In the UnionPay cardholder global benefit package, the streamlining of visa application process for cardholders has been realized to a large extent. For example, UnionPay online payment is available for visa fees at electric visa website of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs; UnionPay platinum card holders may use their platinum cards instead of Bank Statements, Employment Status and Income Certificates as proof of financial standing to apply for New Zealand’s individual visa in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou;
UnionPay diamond card holders may enjoy free express service when applying for British individual visa in the aforementioned three cities; the express service can shorten the processing time by 3-5 working days. Additionally, residents from cities with travel access to Taiwan can directly apply for an entry permit to Taiwan at designated travel agencies by taking electronically scanned copies of UnionPay gold credit cards and other high-end credit cards as asset proof.
Currently, there are 43 Chinese Visa Application Service Centers in 19 countries worldwide. Two factors facilitated the launch of this service in Australia: a) various UnionPay card products have been issued in Australia and have gained popularity among the local residents, b) the personnel exchange between China and Australia becomes increasingly frequent, and more Australian residents visit China. Now, Australian UnionPay cardholders are eligible for Chinese visa application express service by presenting their UnionPay cards issued by Australia Post and Bank of China (Australia). They may also get more information on the application for, usage and privileges of UnionPay cards through brochures at the centers.
To date, 46 million UnionPay cards have been issued in over 40 countries and regions overseas. UnionPay cardholders are able to enjoy secure and convenient payment services at over 26 million merchants and 1.9 million ATMs worldwide. UnionPay card service system also keeps optimizing: cardholders may apply for emergency cash assistance service in China as well as over 220 overseas countries and regions, get tax refunded via UnionPay cards in over 30 overseas countries and regions, and enjoy exclusive services at VIP lounges at a number of international airports.
In Australia, UnionPay cards can be used at 80% ATMs, 50% merchants and 97% taxies. Additionally, almost all institutions of higher education provide UnionPay card cross-border online payment service for tuition payment. Quite a few local institutions are accelerating the issuance of various UnionPay cards.
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