UnionPay, Bank of China Welcome Tourists with Travel Card (Nov. 25, 2013)
Bank of China (BOC) and Union Pay International have launched the first BOC UnionPay Travel Card in Southeast Asia, offering cardholders discounts for more than 700 tourist attractions in China and the surrounding region as well as offers for travel, dining, shopping and car rentals. The card is available as a prepaid card in Malaysia, a debit card in Vietnam and a credit card in Singapore. The program will be rolled out to other Southeast Asian countries in the coming year, according to an announcement.
“The [program] gives cardholders access to UnionPay’s vast international payments network, and Bank of China’s leading Renminbi cross-border clearance ability,” said Zhu Shumin, BOC executive vice president. “Combined with privileges and special offers for tourist attractions, hotels, insurance and shopping both in China and the cardholders’ home countries, the card offers many benefits for frequent travelers to China.”
The program targets a growing number of tourists visiting China, which had nearly 2.4 million visitors from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia during the first nine months of 2013, Shumin added. The travel card comes at a time when China is making a rapid shift away from cash transactions, according to a report by MasterCard Advisors, which indicates that cash usage has declined by as much as 20 percent between 2006 and 2011.