Discover Deal Connects U.S. Online Merchants to 3.2 Billion China UnionPay Cardholders (Dec. 13, 2012)
Dec. 13, 2012
Merchants that accept Discover cards online soon will have a secure, streamlined approach to selling goods to billions of Chinese shoppers through a new agreement between Discover Financial Services, the giant Shanghai-based card network China UnionPay (CUP) and CardinalCommerce Corp., a Cleveland-based card authorization platform provider. Beginning early next year, CUP’s 3.2 billion credit and debit cardholders for the first time may use their cards to shop online through Discover’s merchants in the latest enhancement to a pivotal reciprocal-acceptance agreement Discover inked with CUP, China’s state-controlled card network, in 2005. Discover cards already are accepted at more than 480,000 merchant locations and 90,000 ATMs across China, according to Discover.
The agreement “builds on our longstanding relationship with UnionPay to bring relevant, frictionless and globally ubiquitous solutions to market in nontraditional ways,” a Discover spokesperson tells Paybefore. For U.S. e-commerce merchants, the agreement is significant because for the first time they can count on “secure UnionPay online payments, ease of implementation and consolidated settlement and reporting,” said Joseph Hurley, Discover’s vice president of global business. The new capability relies on CUP’s recently created UnionPay Online Payments (UPOP) service, the companies said. Discover merchants beginning early next year will be able to access UPOP through CardinalCommerce’s Centinel Universal Merchant Platform. Those merchants already using Centinel need only add the UPOP logo on their checkout pages to enable consumers to pay using CUP cards, according to the announcement. “UnionPay fully expects that cardholders in China, as well as UnionPay cardholders currently in the U.S., will take advantage of this expanded shopping opportunity,” said Larry Wang, vice president of CUP’s international division.
China represents a vast commercial opportunity for U.S. card issuers, although relatively few have penetrated the nation. Chinese citizens comprise the largest group of international students in the U.S., and their numbers increased 20 percent this year compared with last year, the companies said.