China-based UnionPay has inked a deal with two major acquirers in Germany, B+S Card Service and CardProcess. The two institutions will enable more than 50,000 local merchants to accept UnionPay cards, raising UnionPay’s merchant coverage from the current 30% to 50%.
UnionPay’s acceptance footprint in Europe has expanded rapidly. Now, 38 European countries and regions have launched UnionPay business. Almost all the ATMs in Switzerland, Austria and Iceland accept UnionPay cards, and cardholders are able to pay with UnionPay cards at about 2 million merchants, among which about 1.4 million are in the six major tourism destinations, namely the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain.
UnionPay’s acceptance footprint has extended from duty-free stores and department stores to restaurants and cultural and entertainment establishments.
In Germany, over 100,000 merchants and 60% of the ATMs accept UnionPay cards. UnionPay International’s cooperation with B+S and CardProcess will substantially improve the local UnionPay acceptance network.
As the largest acquirer in Germany, B+S will enable about 40,000 merchants to accept UnionPay cards in addition to the existing 35,000 merchants. And it is the first time that CardProcess launches UnionPay business, and it will enable 15,000 of its merchants to accept UnionPay cards. UnionPay International will also carry out cooperation in online payment and mobile payment with these two acquirers.
In addition to offline acceptance, UnionPay’s online payment is widely accepted in transportation and education in Europe. Many European airlines, such as Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, LOT Polish Airlines, Air Ukraine and Scandinavian Airlines accept UnionPay for booking tickets online. Independent travellers are able to use UnionPay cards to purchase Eurail Pass online. Moreover, over 100 universities in the UK, France, Switzerland, Czech and other European countries support cross-border tuition payment via UnionPay cards. These universities include the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, University of Southampton and University of Zurich.
After shopping in Europe, cardholders are able to claim for tax refund in two ways:
First, after shopping at participating merchants of Global Blue, Premier Tax Free and Tax Free Worldwide in 31 European countries, cardholders may put the Tax Refund Application Form into the mailbox of the tax-refund company at the airport to claim for tax refund via UnionPay credit cards.
Second, after shopping at participating merchants of Premier Tax Free, Innova Tax Free, Tax Refund Service Srl and Tax Free Worldwide, cardholders may have the Tax Refund Form stamped by the Customs and claim for tax refund via UnionPay cards at the outlets of United Money or on the official website of UnionPay International or United Money. Besides, Printemps in France provides self-service tax refund kiosks for tourists to choose UnionPay cards for tax refund, which is fast and easy.