UnionPay Targets American Travelers with Gift Card
Building on a partnership that began three years ago, UnionPay announced that U.S. travelers headed to China have a new payment option—UnionPay Gift Cards. The cards, which will be available through banks and credit unions, are issued by The Bancorp Bank and FIS is the processor. Both companies helped UnionPay launch its first U.S. product, a prepaid travel card, in 2013.
UnionPay Gift Cards are accepted at about 34 million merchants worldwide, including all Chinese merchants that accept payment cards, according to the Shanghai-based payments network. Though travel cards typically are reloadable, the UnionPay Gift Card is a single-load card that can be loaded with up to $1,000. Upon return from China, cardholders can use remaining funds on the card at “millions” of U.S. merchants, according to UnionPay.
The new UnionPay Gift Card is “another step forward in establishing the UnionPay brand in North America,” noted Miriam Park, general manager of UnionPay International America. More than 3 million Americans are expected to visit China this year, with that total doubling by 2020, UnionPay said, citing Statista data.
In related news, China UnionPay, which operates China’s national interbank clearing and settlement system, recently signed with Visa a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on payments security, innovation and financial inclusion.