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UnionPay International Sees Intensive Expansion along the “Belt and Road”

SHANGHAI, China, May 29, 2015 / Xinhua-AsiaNet — Committed to providing support to China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, UnionPay International is making another contribution by entering deepened cooperation with Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan following intensive recent developments that see the payment network’s partnerships with institutions in the “Belt and Road” countries including Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Pakistan.

The company announced on May 27 deepened cooperation with Halyk Bank was realized and the two sides will see closer ties in card issuance in Kazakhstan, innovative services and financial support for Kazakh students in China.

“We are supporting the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ by providing quality payment services for economic and personnel exchanges between China and Kazakhstan. And we support two-way communications rather than single-way,” said Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International.

Since last year, UnionPay International has rapidly increased the UnionPay card acceptance coverage in Kazakhstan to cover about 70% of local ATMs and over 50% of merchants. As the first institution in Kazakhstan to carry out UnionPay card businesses locally, Halyk Bank has enabled UnionPay card acceptance by all its ATMs and merchants.

“The deepened cooperation with Halyk Bank provides a good example for UnionPay card business development along the ‘Belt and Road’ areas. In the future, we will continue to expand cooperation with local institutions to contribute to the implementation of the initiative,” Cai said.

Umut Shayakhmetova, president of Halyk Bank, said UnionPay cards cannot only be used in Kazakhstan but also are accepted by the global UnionPay network that covers more than 150 countries and regions, and this brings great value to the bank’s customers.

She said the bank has issued around 200,000 co-branded cards with UnionPay. Before the end of 2016, it will issue more than 1.1 million such cards. More than 90 percent of the cards were issued to local residents and all the cards are chip-based, which brings more security for the payment system.

The UnionPay card acceptance environment along the “Belt and Road” improves rapidly, with around 50 of the more than 60 countries involved in the initiative accepting UnionPay cards.

Earlier this month, Kyrgyzstan’s largest bank OPTIMA Bank begins to issue UnionPay cards through cooperation with UnionPay International; In March, Turkey’s largest bankcard issuer Garanti Bank issued the first UnionPay card; In January, UnionPay International and Pakistan’s largest bank HBL jointly announced to deepen cooperation in cards issuance and innovative payment.

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SOURCE: UnionPay International

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