UnionPay International and eLipa Expand Online Payment Services to Support Consumers and Merchants

UnionPay International (UPI), the card scheme with the world’s largest cardholder base, has responded to the global fight against COVID-19 by working with its partners to increase consumer access to key online services. Today, UPI announced that the successful integration of UnionPay Online Payment (UPOP) with eLipa recently has enabled UnionPay cardholders to access over 8000 online merchants across Africa.

eLipa is an innovative payments processing solution and payment gateway for Africa-focused merchants, helping businesses to receive payments online or in physical shops via an online/point-of-sale transaction processing gateway. eLipa serves a large clientele in private, public and non-profit sectors. These include leading brands like Jumia, Glovo, Dominos, Decathlon, National Museums of Kenya, Ramtons Electronics, MyDawa, Urban Coffee, as well as banks, churches, entertainment clubs and restaurants, the Africa Legal Network among others. This business is carried out in Kenya as iPay (www.ipayafrica.com). eLipa also operates in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Togo, with more countries lined up for entry.

UPI has seen an increased global online transaction by around 20%, as more people are adopting digital payments to minimise physical contact and cash handling amid the global pandemic.

In order to support the African customers to fight against COVID-19 and to sustain the adoption of digital payments, UPI is optimising its “contactless” payment services, including online and mobile payment services.

Mr. Luping Zhang, General Manager at UnionPay International Africa Branch, sees the completion of this project as “another milestone in UnionPay’s expansion on the continent”. He further stated that, “We believe that itminimisetant for the public to understand the benefits of digital payments, beyond reducing physical contact during this difficult time. And smooth payment services and attractive promotions are key to fostering this understanding.”

Commenting on the partnership, Philip Nyamwaya, Group Managing Director at eLipa noted that this partnership is another feather in the cap of the varied and flexible payments channels that eLipa already offers. He stated that, “This partnership underscores our vision to continue to be a trusted and sought-after payment processor of choice within the African continent and beyond. The addition of UnionPay was therefore firmly within our strategic vision; seeing the rapid uptake of this card scheme globally and across Africa”.

At present, UnionPay cards are widely accepted in Africa in all sectors, effectively meeting the diverse purchasing needs of UnionPay cardholders visiting and living in the region.

In recent years, UPI has expanded its acceptance network to 179 countries and regions, with more than 8.4 billion UnionPay cards issued in 61 countries and regions. In Africa, UnionPay cards have been issued in over 10 African countries and regions, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius. The Nilson Report (Issue 1154) shows that UnionPay ranks first among all card schemes worldwide in terms of cards issuance and transaction volume.

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