More than over 80% of ATMs and POS terminals in Kazakhstan now accept UnionPay cards and will likely top 95% by the end of the year. Ther are over 1.3 million UnionPay cards issued in Kazakhstan.
With the initiation of 2017 “China Tourism Year” in Kazakhstan, UnionPay International announced the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, UnionPay’s business in Central Asia has made breakthroughs.
As the first overseas station on the New Economic Belt of Silk Road, Kazakhstan is of great strategic significance in Central Asia. The trade cooperation and personnel exchange between Kazakhstan and China is increasingly frequent.
In the past two years, UnionPay’s business in Kazakhstan has achieved obvious progress: seven of the top ten local banks have accepted and issued UnionPay cards, including Kazkommertsbank, the largest bank in the market. In last September, UnionPay International established its Almaty Branch to focus on its expansion in Central Asia.
It’s worth noting that, the acceptance coverage rate of ATMs and POS terminals in Kazakhstan has rapidly increased from 50% and 20% to both 80% in the past two years; it is quite convenient to use UnionPay cards in Kazakhstan. Merchants and ATMs that accept UnionPay cards are widely distributed in transportation hubs and daily purchasing places such as airports, railway stations, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations.
In the meantime, UnionPay International cooperates with mainstream institutions in Kazakhstan for large-scale issuance of UnionPay cards, and has issued more than 1.3 million UnionPay cards in the past two years.
Currently, seven banks in Kazakhstan have issued UnionPay classic cards, gold cards, platinum cards, diamond cards and Asia Prestige diamond cards, which not only satisfies the card using demands of common purchasers, tourists and exchange students, but also grants value-added services such as airport VIP lounge access, airport pick-up service and hotel reservation to top-end businessmen. Last year, these cards were frequently used in about 40 countries and regions, and in particular, the transaction volume of Kazakhstan-issued UnionPay cards in mainland China took on double-digit growth.
UnionPay cards have become the bond providing bidirectional support for the personnel exchange between China and countries along the Belt and Road.
With the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, UnionPay card business in major countries of Central Asia is developing rapidly. For instance, in Azerbaijan, more than 50% of ATMs and over 10,000 merchants accept UnionPay cards in about two years since UnionPay entered the market; and in Uzbekistan, UnionPay has enabled the local merchants to accept UnionPay cards in large scale by cooperating with major commercial banks and local switch network.