About 90 million UnionPay cards are issued outside mainland China

SHANGHAI, Feb. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- UnionPay International announced today that about 20 million more UnionPay cards were issued outside the Chinese mainland in 2017, increasing the total number of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China to about 90 million. The transaction volume of these UnionPay cards grew by about 40% year-on-year, and the volume of the transaction made with these cards in mainland China has kept growing for several consecutive years.

According to the latest data, China has become the world's fourth largest inbound tourism market, receiving approximately 140 million tourists in 2017. While the number of tourists to China continues to grow, the number of tourists from countries and regions along the Belt and Road is growing even faster. UnionPay is enlarging card-issuing scale outside mainland China and enhancing card-using services and privileges to support the personnel exchanges between China and the world.

By the end of 2017, about 90 million UnionPay cards were issued outside mainland China, and over 25 million were issued in the Belt and Road markets. UnionPay has become the No.1 bankcard brand in terms of card issuance in Laos, Mongolia and Myanmar. More than 4.1 million UnionPay cards have been issued in Pakistan. Over 10 local banks in Russia have issued 1.3 million UnionPay cards.

Now, UnionPay cards have become a major payment method for tourists from some countries and regions when they visit China. UnionPay cardholders from countries and regions along the Belt and Road like to use UnionPay cards in mainland China. In 2017, the transaction volume of Pakistan-issued UnionPay cards in mainland China grew by over 2 times, and that of UnionPay cards issued in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan increased by about 50%.

UnionPay cardholders from other countries and regions brought more business opportunities to merchants in the Chinese mainland. In 2017, global cardholders used UnionPay cards in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China. Besides shopping, inbound cardholders are spending more on entertainment, catering and accommodation.

With the localization of UnionPay's business outside mainland China, the international feature of the UnionPay network becomes more obvious. Since last November, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China has surpassed that of mainland China-issued UnionPay outside the Chinese mainland.

Over 90% of the transaction of UnionPay cards issued in Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Central Asia happen locally, meaning that UnionPay has become a major payment method for the residents in these markets. Moreover, cardholders outside mainland China like to use cards in their global travels. For instance, the cross-border transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued in Thailand, Pakistan and Kazakhstan grew by over 100% in 2017, and the transaction volume of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China in Europe and America grew by more than 20%.