China UnionPay. History and Today's Overview


Intended to place the leading positions in any area of the world economics including banking and electronic payments China launched it's own bankcard system UnionPay in March 2002. This wasn't a first attempt of national plastic card implementation, thus China UnionPay (CUP) can be named as the inheritor of "Golden Card Project" concept proposed by general secretary Jiang Zemin in 1993. Starting as a card acquiring leading banks association held by People's Bank of China (PBOC) today UnionPay is the world’s largest card system with the biggest total transactions volume. By February, 2015, CUP has issued more than 4 billion plastic cards and has pushed out such companies like MasterCard and Visa from the leading positions in market. UnionPay cards are accepted in more than 150 countries worldwide. Over 400 banks and institutions have set the partnership with CUP and more than 40 of them provide card emission.


UnionPay provide unique Global Service products including cross-border remittance, tax refund, emergency cash assistance, express visa application, car rental, concierge and assistance as well as VIP offers of airport and lounge zones services. All of the mentioned becomes available to UnionPay bank card holders not in China only but in any part of the world.


China UnionPay is permanently developing innovative projects in world card systems market. One of the most attractive services provided is a Global Online Shopping platform, Haigou, that combines multiple electronic commerce services. Haigou offers comprehensive suggestions for buying foods, goods, planning the trip, paying for education, utilities and leisure. Today, ordering a visit to Beijing Opera House with direct transfer from airport and then a meal in a restaurant in new cloths becomes real even if you're not Chinese and you have a UnionPay card and Internet connection. «Shopping abroad» service provides to a CUP cardholder opportunities of shopping consultant, translator, privileges provision and delivery. Moreover, Unionpay card accounts can be easily integrated to Alipay, that provides smooth and comfortable shopping in world's largest marketplaces.


New project of CUP called MPOS is an innovative payment product intended for making purchases through the Web. It's a tiny device connected to Your smartphone via Bluetooth, 3,5mm or mini-USB plug that allows You to acquire transactions. MPOS is a low cost hacking-protected solution for small enterprises.


UnionPay IC cards are modern high-level secured exchange medium fully conforming EMV standards. Number of IC cards emitted in China reaches 1.6 billion in 2015. China UnionPay has joined EMVCo to declare the common ambition to make payments more secure, accessible and user-friendly.


The good sample of such technology implementation is another conception — QuickPass. It allows a cardholder to make a payment without uncomfortable card readers by just waving the QuickPass card near the contactless payment terminal. QuickPass makes the payments more convenient and faster by reducing the time of transaction confirmation and enhancing checkout efficiency. Technology is suitable where the modern lifestyle dictates the rules: public transport, supermarkets, convenient stores, parkings, rentals, etc.