(Yicai Global) July 5 -- While building traditional acceptance networks and issuing cards in China, UnionPay International Co. (UPI) is ramping up efforts to expand its innovative payment business overseas with a focus on Southeast and Northeast Asia.
Cross-border transactions via Cloud QuickPass, UnionPay's mobile payment service, multiplied in the first half, China News Service reported on July 3, citing the latest data. An increasing number of offshore consumers are using Cloud QuickPass. Transactions via the service made by local consumers in Hong Kong and Macao more than quadrupled from a year earlier.
UPI has been promoting Cloud QuickPass abroad, a director at the company said. Near-field communication (NFC) payment, one of UnionPay's mobile settlement offerings, is accepted by nearly 500,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. It enables consumers to pay by 'swiping' their smartphones. The system's QR code payment mechanism was first made available in Hong Kong and Singapore.
UPI is encouraging consumers to link their UnionPay cards to the service on their mobile phones. In Hong Kong, holders of UnionPay credit and debit cards issued by Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., UnionPay debit cards issued by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd. and UnionPay credit cards issued by Bank of East Asia Ltd. will all be able to use the Cloud QuickPass service.
UnionPay is the only card brand in Hong Kong that provides mobile payment services for debit card holders. Consumers in Macao and South Korea can link their UnionPay cards to the QuickPass service on their phones to make payments.
This year, UPI has stepped up efforts to introduce QR code payment systems in foreign markets to complement existing NFC schemes and meet cardholders' diversified payment needs. The company is focusing on promoting QR code payments in Southeast Asia.
Cloud QuickPass QR code payment is already accepted in Hong Kong and Singapore, and UPI will roll out the service in countries that Chinese tourists frequently visit such as Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. The firm is working with local institutions in Southeast Asia to bring the service to transportation, hospitals, social security and schools. UPI is teaming up with Southeast Asian nations to put out wallet products this year.
UnionPay has unveiled its QR code payment standards overseas. In Thailand, it created a local standard QR code payment standard with Visa Inc. [NYSE:V] and Mastercard Inc. [NYSE:MA] that has become the one recommended by the Bank of Thailand, the country's central bank, for financial institutions and merchants. The UnionPay standards, which are secure and internationally compatible, are expected to be adopted by more Southeast Asian countries adopting QR code products.