Facilitating payment interconnection in the region
UnionPay QR code payment service to be launched in Eurasia for the first time with card issuance upsoaring
2018-09-27

On September 27, UnionPay International signed collaboration agreements with four major institutions from Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia respectively. The Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, Mr. Ji Yanchi and Vice President of the Central Bank of Georgia, Mr. Archil Mestvirishvili, were present to extend their congratulation. Mr. Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International, and heads of the institutions attended the signing ceremony.

According to the agreements, Basisbank will issue UnionPay Diamond cards in Georgia and will introduce UnionPay QR code payment service for the first time in the country. ATF Bank will issue 200,000 UnionPay cards in the next 3 years in Kazakhstan, launch UnionPay QR code payment for the first time locally, and develop local e-wallet product based on the UnionPay technical standards. Bank Ipak Yuli will issue 500,000 UnionPay-UZ co-brand cards in three years, expanding the use of UZ cards from Uzbekistan to UnionPay’s global network. Rosselkhozbank will carry out joint marketing promotion with UnionPay International to attract more Russian customers to sign up for UnionPay cards.

Cai Jianbo said, with UnionPay’s acceptance in Eurasia constantly expanding, UnionPay’s ability to serve the payment demands brought by personnel exchanges between China and the region continues to enhance. Based on its acceptance network, UnionPay is speeding up the local issuance of UnionPay cards and the rollout of UnionPay innovative products, enhancing the payment experience of local customers and supporting the upgrading of the payment industry in the region. UnionPay is willing to further leverage its advantages in payment technology, products, standards and network to provide better services to local partners as well as customers. To be more specific, UnionPay will: first, promote collaboration in network building and standards cooperation to enhance comprehensive payment service ability; second, promote cross-border cooperation in acceptance, issuance and mobile payment to facilitate the payment interconnection; third, promote cooperation in services of clearing, data analysis and risk management.

So far, UnionPay’s acceptance coverage in Central Asia has reached 70%, and it is expected to reach 90% within three years. UnionPay will also reach 100% acceptance in Russia this year. Based on UnionPay’s increasing improving acceptance environment, 6 countries in Central Asia have issued UnionPay cards and over 10 banks in Russia have issued more than 1.5 million UnionPay cards. In some countries, over 90% of the transactions made with locally-issued UnionPay cards happen locally, proving that UnionPay card is becoming a new payment option of the local customers. Moreover, Russia has become a “demonstration market” for UnionPay’s contactless payment, with over 1 million POS terminals accepting UnionPay mobile QuickPass. Local customers will also be able to enjoy UnionPay mobile QuickPass service soon.

In Georgia, the acceptance coverage of UnionPay has exceeded 80%, and the scale of card issuance is expanding continuously. Ji Yanchi said that the economic and trade exchanges between China and Georgia are becoming increasingly close. UnionPay International’s in-depth cooperation with local financial institutions is encouraged for it will help realize payment interconnection between the two countries.

Archil Mestvirishvili said, Georgian enterprises, merchants, and residents need convenient payment services. UnionPay is welcome to bring more mobile payment products to Georgia and to boost more financial innovation in the country.

In the five years since the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative, UnionPay International is carrying out deeper and wider collaboration with relative countries and regions. As of August this year, UnionPay is available in more than 60 Belt and Road countries and regions, covering more than 5.7 million merchants and more than 680,000 ATMs. More than 35 million UnionPay cards are issued in the region, 20 times more than the number before the proposal of the initiative. UnionPay International is also assisting 12 countries and regions along the Belt and Road to build local switch networks.

The four agreements were signed during the third meeting of UnionPay International's Eurasia Regional Member Council. In 2015, UnionPay International established the council to promote the development of its business in the region by forming an open cooperation platform. The meeting was held in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, from September 26th to 27th. Representatives from more than 20 institutions from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia attended the meeting.