HONG KONG, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International (“UPI”), a leading global payment services provider, marked its third year of launching the Hong Kong and Macao version of UnionPay App. The 30 million UnionPay cards that have been issued in Hong Kong and Macao demonstrate the degree to which the cards have become widely accepted and a preferred choice when making payments. The launch of the localized version of UnionPay App in Hong Kong and Macao three years ago has driven the speedy growth of the local mobile payment industry, with approximately one in every four residents use UnionPay mobile payment services, based on population.
One of the key projects built into the roadmap released earlier this month for the development of the Hengqin and Qianhai Cooperation Zones was to make the integration of people’s livelihood a priority in a move to further accelerate economic growth within the GBA. Taking into account the fact that three currencies are in use across the GBA and that each one has its own set of characteristics and abides by its own set of rules, UPI continues to facilitate the implementation of payment networks by providing a variety of banking cards and mobile payment solutions.
The payment solutions provider further supports the integration of the region’s payment services by leveraging the existing cross-border infrastructure to deliver convenient payment solutions to individuals who commute or travel between Hong Kong, Macao and/or mainland China to study, live, look for work or run a business.
Promoting the build-out of interconnected networks
As the new semester started, many students in Hong Kong’s and Macao’s institutions of higher learning have chosen to settle their tuition fees with the easy-to-use UnionPay App. In August 2021, several leading universities and colleges in the two regions became connected to UnionPay App, including nearly 100 institutions across the GBA, eliminating the need to exchange currencies or for students coming to the schools from outside the region to have to deal with wire transfers.
This move is in line with UPI’s strategy of accelerating the build-out of interconnected networks within the GBA to serve the payment needs of local residents. Currently, nearly all merchants in Hong Kong and Macao have been set up to process UnionPay cards and UnionPay mobile QuickPass, with a large number of e-commerce platforms connected to the UnionPay online payment network and 80,000 merchants accepting UnionPay QR code payments. According to Hong Kong-based online media outlet, “With UnionPay products, you can already travel around the GBA smoothly”.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Shenzhen–Hong Kong cross-border buses and ferries and most other border crossings, as well Hong Kong Long Win Bus, New City Bus, Macao LRT and other local transport accept UnionPay cards or UnionPay App. Residents in Hong Kong and Macao can also use UnionPay mobile QuickPass to top up their rechargeable stored value smartcards such as Yang Cheng Tong, Shenzhen Tong, and Hong Kong Octopus, maximizing convenience when taking the metro or bus.
Offering comprehensive payment product options
Many new and upgraded UnionPay payment products have been launched in Hong Kong and Macao. Bank of China (Hong Kong) launched a GBA Youth card with meaningful benefits for locals who study or work in mainland China or plan to do so. Huawei Pay in Macao has been optimized to meet the needs of local ICBC UnionPay cardholders for QR code-based and contactless payments, with the number of consumers signing up surging nearly tenfold compared to one year prior.
The UnionPay brand has become a household name in Hong Kong and Macao largely due to its growing product portfolio, with 36 local financial institutions having issued its cards. Debit cards are the preferred products, representing more than 90% of the selected solutions. Ten local banks have collectively issued over one million GBA-themed cards. In 2018, UPI launched the Hong Kong and Macao version of UnionPay App in the two regions, which has to date been picked up by virtually every card issuer and has driven 19 local e-wallets in this region to support the UnionPay card. Over two million cards have been bound to e-wallets, nearly double the number from a year ago.
Improving services capabilities during COVID-19
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, UnionPay International enhanced its localized version of UnionPay App in Hong Kong and Macao by rolling out a series of services that made it more convenient to pay taxes and other social security obligations, handle local payments, arrange for household cleaning and book taxis, all of which satisfied the growing demand among the local populace for access to contactless payments. With Macao reopening the border to mainland visitors and Hong Kong launching its Come2hk Scheme, the localized version of UnionPay App in the two regions has been accepted as a booking vehicle for nucleic acid testing, as well as an access point to Health Code International Edition, Macao Health Code and mainland China’s Communication Big Data Travel Card among other value-added services during the pandemic, providing convenience to people traveling to and from the GBA.
Looking at the larger picture, UnionPay International makes full use of its brand integration to work closely with all stakeholders in a move to boost consumption in Hong Kong and Macao. In Hong Kong, UnionPay International responded to the consumption voucher program launched by the local government by providing a variety of payment solutions and applications for local residents in collaboration with HKT Payment Limited’s Tap & Go payment service. In Macao, UnionPay International rolled out a wide array of special offers, which raised the number of UnionPay card transactions during this year’s May 1 holiday to back to where it was prior to the pandemic.
In the upcoming National Day holiday from October 1, UPI will tie up with more than 100 well-known brands to provide cardholders with a full range of offers and promotions, including a discount of up to 20% at local hotels, duty-free shops and restaurants.
SOURCE UnionPay International