Growing necessity for UnionPay card acceptance
Rules & Law
UnionPay is the only bank card and interbank network allowed in China. Since this is the case, it is understandable how crucial it is for Chinese travelers to be able to use it also when they are abroad. The number of credit cards issued by Chinese banks is expected to quadruple to 800 million by 2020, up from 200 million in 2010.
According to a 2010 report by MasterCard, China is expected to surpass the US as the worldâ€™s biggest credit card market in the next decade, as rising urbanization and wealth open the way to a wider supply of resources. Moreover, management of credit cards by Chinese internet users is also growing sharply; data released by the IResearch Consulting Group shows that it reached 82% in October 2013. Among these internet-confident people, 32.7% have two cards which could mean that Chinese consumersâ€™ acceptance of a credit card based market is entering the mature phase. This trend can be coupled with the progressing tendency of modern Chinese travelers to arrange trips on their own.
Quoting Peopleâ€™s Bank of Chinaâ€™s figures, the English language newspaper China Daily reported in March that Chinese banks issued 3.5 billion cards in 2012 and, among them, 331 million were credit cards. For UnionPay cards the rise from the previous year was 46%. In addition to this, company president Xu Luode was quoted as saying that 16 million UnionPay-branded cards have been issued abroad to non-Chinese citizens. Even if the volume of payments remains lower than with other well-known international cards, Chinese tourists visiting Australia spent an average 800 Â¥ per purchase last year. They are allowed to bring only a little more than 30,000 Â¥ ($5,000) from home, but the situation will change if their credit card is more generally accepted. In Italy, nearly 70% of the ATMs and more than 100,000 department stores accept UnionPay.