China’s UnionPay has inked Alinma to enable all ATMs and merchants in Saudi Arabia to accept UnionPay cards, making Alinma the first local bank to accept UnionPay cards.
In order promote card usage channels, the two sides also agreed to cooperate in issuing UnionPay cards for the purpose of providing secure and convenient payment services for local consumers.
Since Saudi Arabia is an important country in the One Belt One Road initiative, a number of agreements in the areas of energy, trade, communication and culture have been signed between China and Saudi Arabia to promote economic and trade interactions as well as flow of people. To satisfy the cross-border payment demands arising therefrom, UnionPay International is working to improve its acceptance in the country.
As one of the major banks in the Middle East, Alinma promises to enable UnionPay acceptance at more than 9,000 POS terminals and over 1,000 ATMs through the partnership and to deliver great convenience to UnionPay cardholders visiting Saudi Arabia.
With an increasing number of Saudi Arabians traveling to Asia and in particular to China, Alinma is also looking to delivering convenient payment services to them. In addition to its extensive acceptance in Asia, UnionPay’s footprint in 150 countries and regions around the world is also growing, which complies with the demand of Alinma and further promotes the two sides to issue UnionPay cards via cooperation.
Currently, UnionPay has presence in 11 countries and regions in the Middle East, among which all POS terminals in UAE, 50% of all merchants and 40% of all ATMs in Qatar accept UnionPay cards. In addition, UnionPay has full coverage in Jordan, and its acceptance in Turkey and Israel is also growing rapidly. It has also issued cards in Qatar and Jordan.
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