China UnionPay has topped 68 million UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China at year-end 2016. In 2017, UnionPay will start rolling out Asia Theme Card in markets outside mainland China to offer new payment options for business travelers who often visit Asia. A dozen of mainstream institutions in Central Asia and Southeast Asia plan to issue the card within this year.
UnionPay International has loaded its advantages in acceptance and service in Asia onto the Asia Theme Card. In Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, UnionPay’s ATM acceptance coverage is better than other international card brands, and UnionPay’s merchant acceptance coverage is over 70%.
In Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia, all the ATMs and POS terminals accept UnionPay cards. With the issuing scale of UnionPay cards in Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia extending rapidly, the UnionPay card-using service systems in these markets are also improving, accumulating abundant merchant offers and value-added service resources.
The Asia Theme Card includes Travel Mate Asia and Asia Prestige. More than 500,000 Travel Mate Asia, which is designed for general customers, have been issued in Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and Malaysia. Asia Prestige is for high-end business travelers, and its cardholders have the access to over 850 VIP lounges in more than 450 airports and high-speed railway stations, they are also entitled to the pickup service in 60 major Asian cities, global medical and tourism assistance, and VIP medical assistance in mainland China.
Recently, UnionPay International and Halyk Bank have issued the first Asia Prestige diamond card in Kazakhstan. Besides airport VIP lounges and pick-up services, the cardholders may also enjoy individualized and value-added services including hotel reservation, sports and performance ticket booking, restaurant recommendation and reservation as well as flower and gift delivery. Besides, KBZ, the largest commercial bank in Myanmar and Myanmar’s CB Bank have issued Asia Prestige platinum cards.
Currently, an increasing number of customers outside mainland China prefer to take UnionPay cards when visiting China and other Asian countries and regions. Data show that, in the first three quarters of 2016, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued in South Korea doubled and redoubled in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, while the transaction volume of Thailand-issued UnionPay cards in Malaysia has grown by about 20 times year-on-year.
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