UnionPay International has announced that 170 international wallets can now be directly used at merchants that accept UnionPay in China, offering a truly borderless payment experience for global cardholders. This brand new change brought by UPI’s rapid expansion of its cross-border business massively enhances the payment experience for global travelers in China’s mainland.
Hong Kong and Macao SAR residents can now use familiar options like the UnionPay App, Octopus card, and BoC Pay. Other international wallets, including Malaysia’s GoPayz, Thailand’s K PLUS, and South Korea’s NaverPay, allow travellers to scan UnionPay QR codes for payments. Since the start of the year, Southeast Asian payment networks like Malaysia’s PayNet, Vietnam’s NAPAS, and Cambodia’s Bakong have all reached agreements with UnionPay.
UPI’s new “network interconnection and interoperability” cooperation model is another step in UPI’s constant innovation. It actively promotes the interconnection between payment networks in China and internationally while supporting the coordinated development of domestic and international payment products. This has brought untold conveniences for international travellers in China with Thai tourist Kittiphan who was visiting Hangzhou commenting, “I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that our local Thai K+ wallet can directly scan QR codes to pay in China. I experienced it myself in Hangzhou this time and it was super convenient.”
International partners and users have warmly welcomed UPI’s latest innovation as it offers five significant advantages that include, a seamless connection, no additional costs, better privacy protection, customer risk identification that ensures safer cross-border transactions, as well as a wide range of application scenarios. Scenarios where inbound tourists have fundamental needs for business travel include catering, retail, transportation and entertainment attractions and the UnionPay card experience is becoming increasingly convenient for people who wish to take rides, go shopping, and claim back tax refunds. Taking transportation for instance, cross-border transportation such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the China-Laos Railway along with 40 urban subways and more than 1,760 urban buses in the region all support UnionPay cardholders.
In recent years, the digital transformation of the global payment industry has been accelerating with Chinese payment financial institutions represented by UnionPay actively creating a smooth and interconnected global payment network. UPI cooperates with international banks and payment companies to support wallets to bind UnionPay cards or issue UnionPay virtual cards within the app. 170 of these wallet products have been launched in 35 countries and regions, and it is expected that the number will exceed 200 by the end of the year. UPI also cooperates on transit network technology standards, QR code standards, and chip card standards with many central banks, national transit networks, and payment alliances around the world.