China UnionPay processed a total transaction volume of 881.9 billion yuan during the 7-day National Day holiday (Oct 1-7) and the total transaction number reached 570 million, growing by 36% and 14% year-on-year respectively.
As for the use of UnionPay cards for tourism, the transaction number for domestic attractions tickets and hotels grew by 46% and 17% respectively. The total transaction number for airline, railway and long-distance bus tickets increased by 78%, among which highway transportation witnessed the biggest growth of 102%.
The transaction volume for passenger tickets in Shanghai, Heilongjiang and Shandong witnessed the largest increase, meaning that people in these areas were more willing to travel during the holiday compared to previous years. Meanwhile, the fine weather and the highway toll-free policy during the holiday encouraged people to go on self-driving travels, and therefore the transaction number at gas stations grew by 48%, among which Tibet, Shanghai and Hainan witnessed the biggest growth, all exceeded 100%.
With regard to residents’ daily spending, the transaction number at supermarkets, department stores and large household appliances stores grew by 22% year-on-year. Moreover, many people visited their relatives and friends, which led to a year-on-year growth of 33% in the transaction volume in the catering sector.
The data also show that UnionPay’s innovative payment methods are gaining popularity among an increasing number of users. The transaction number and transaction volume of UnionPay Financial IC Card grew by 42% and 66% respectively, and the mode of “tap and go” (contactless payment) witnessed the most remarkable increase.
With more mobile phone brands and models supporting mobile QuickPass, more merchants accepting mobile QuickPass, and various types of merchants launched promotions for UnionPay mobile QuikPass, the daily transaction number and transaction volume of UnionPay mobile QuickPass during the National Day holiday increased by 89% and 46% respectively compared to the May Day holiday. Moreover, the transaction number and transaction volume of UnionPay Online Payment also grew by 65% and 159% respectively.
As for overseas card using, the offline transaction volume and transaction number of UnionPay cards during the National Day holiday maintained its growing momentum, and the transaction volume at merchants of general merchandise, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels took over 40% of the total volume, showing that UnionPay’s acceptance network has become more extensive and is able to meet Chinese tourists’ demand for experiencing local life in overseas destinations.
During the Holiday, European and American countries like Canada, the UK, Spain and Russia were more popular compared to short-distance destinations like Japan, South Korea and Thailand. With UnionPay’s expansion in countries and regions along the Belt and Road, the transaction amount of UnionPay cards in these markets witnessed remarkable increase. It is noteworthy that, during the Holiday, over 100,000 U Plan coupons were downloaded and used. Its daily usage was about 4 times of that in September, which led to the rapid increase in transaction volume at the participating merchants. This means that the user group of U Plan is forming rapidly.
During the National Day holiday, many cardholders shared their overseas card-using experiences online. They mentioned that it is very convenient to use UnionPay cards at Bicester Village in the UK and the Chinese restaurants in UAE. They had great experiences withdrawing cash via UnionPay cards in Japan, the Czech Republic and Zimbabwe. Many also mentioned that a lot of overseas merchants provided exclusive privileges and services for UnionPay cardholders.
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