August 21, 2020

Product Spotlight

Expansion of Card Brand Acceptance: UnionPay

The UnionPay card has reached a de facto position among Chinese consumers, but its growth outside of the territory is difficult to ignore. Bolstered by a robust relationship within the banking infrastructure, its capability to collaborate with institutions, partners, and merchants gives it an edge in their quest for continued expansion into the Americas and elsewhere.

And this adoption of UPI is making quite a bit of headway, even in this period of recovery—sluggish and inconsistent as it may be.

“With about 8 billion cards issued in 58 countries and regions, UnionPay is the world’s largest bankcard scheme in terms of card issuance. UnionPay acceptance footprint covers 177 countries and regions, providing cardholders with convenient and secure payment services and a variety of privileges.”


In time, as channels open, merchants should prepare for a return of traffic and an eventual influx of business and leisure travelers. An IPSOS study conducted in 2018 has established that the number of Chinese visitors to the US exceeded 3 million, that 99% of these travelers owned a UnionPay card and that this average traveler spent $7800, while in the US. In Canada, UnionPay has partnered with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to report that in 2018, the number of Chinese visitors reached a quarter of a million and have valued the transaction spending average at $2400.

Whether the travel is for business, pleasure or study, visiting friends and family, embarking on a group tour, or giving in to the wanderlust of in-country travel, the numbers are difficult to ignore. And while it’s true that getting back to these numbers will be a gradual process, they will inevitably be measurably re-established.

Final Thoughts

UnionPay’s adoption rate is already impressive and continues to broaden its geographical reach every day. With more and more major retailers embarking on this expansion, the message is clear. UnionPay is very quickly earning its place among the older, established card brands in this part of the world, too.

Click for more on UPI or contact us to learn more about implementing this in your environment.