UnionPay in Latin America: Merchants Exceed Two Million and Card Issuance in Six Markets
UnionPay International (UPI) announced today it has respectively reached cooperation with Brazilian partners Stone, an acquirer, and Saque e Pague, a local payment network, to enable UnionPay cards for acceptance by 360,000 merchants and 1,500 ATMs in the country, which increases the UnionPay card acceptance coverage to 70% in Brazil. The past two years have seen more progress made by UnionPay in developing the acceptance network in Latin America with cards now supported in all top ten Latin American countries by GDP and issued locally in six countries and regions, offering two-way payment services to facilitate exchanges between China and the region.
Most Latin American countries and regions have reached consensus with China on the Belt and Road initiative. The payment needs thus ensued drive the rapid development of UnionPay’s business in the region. UnionPay cards are currently accepted by more than two million merchants in 20 Latin American countries and regions, including new markets enabled in the past two years such as Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. For the major destinations of Chinese investment in the region, all ATMs in Panama and over 80% of ATMs in Mexico accept UnionPay cards, and the card acceptance of the brand in markets such as Ecuador and Jamaica has exceeded 70%. In Peru, the Latin American market with the largest Chinese community, 80% of local merchants take UnionPay cards. In Argentina, a famed tourist destination, UnionPay cards are accepted by half of the merchants and all the ATMs. UnionPay mobile payment services have been launched in six countries and regions such as Brazil, Chile, and Argentina since last year, with a total of nearly 600,000 local merchants supporting UnionPay QR payment or tap-and-go payment.
UPI’s cooperation with payment industry players in Brazil is considerably improving its acceptance in the country. Stone will enable all merchants to accept UnionPay cards and mobile QuickPass, with a focus on optimizing payment experiences at restaurants, retailers, shopping malls and supermarkets. Givanildo Luz, CEO of Saque e Pague, said that this agreement establishes a link between international platforms and Brazilian systems, which better serves the payment demand of the customers.
With the improvement of the UnionPay acceptance network, a growing number of locals and Chinese diaspora in Latin America apply for and use UnionPay cards locally. To date, UnionPay cards have been issued in Panama, Ecuador, Suriname, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Puerto Rico, and can transact on both local and cross-border UnionPay networks. The transaction volume last year more than doubled year-on-year.
At present, the global UnionPay network has extended to nearly 55 million merchants in 180 countries and regions. UnionPay card acceptance coverage exceeds 90% in Asia-Pacific and reaches 70% in Europe and North America. UnionPay mobile payment services have been enabled in 94 countries and regions, with more than one million merchants supporting UnionPay QR payment and over seven million POS terminals accepting UnionPay mobile QuickPass outside of Mainland China.