Independent payment service provider 3C Payment and Chinese payment organisation UnionPay have announced a partnership to expand UnionPay card acceptance in Europe.
UnionPay, which hold the world’s largest issued card base, said it has seen its transaction volumes in Europe increased significantly over the last twelve months.
According to the company, this is a result of a long term strategy that has been developed to increase the number of European merchants accepting UnionPay cards.
Wei Zhihong, UnionPay international’s market director and head of its European branch said: “The last twelve months have seen significant progress for UnionPay in Europe in both transaction volumes and acceptance and we are delighted to be building on this success with a new partnership with 3C Payment.
“We have the largest card base in the world and we want to ensure that both European merchants and card issuers are able to benefit from our scale and the innovations we offer.”
According to the latest report from the European Travel Commission, Chinese tourists continue to put Europe at the top of their favourite destinations.
Over the course of 2018, the top three EU destinations in terms of volume of Chinese arrivals were the UK (+2.4%), Germany (+2.6%) and France (+7.7%). The three most growing destinations were Croatia (+45.7%), Estonia (+35.8%) and Hungary (+25.1%).
Chinese bookings to the EU for the first four months of 2019 are 16.9% ahead of where they were at the end of 2017 – comparing favourably to the global trend, which is 9.3% ahead.
UnionPay has prioritised a number of key sectors including hotel and catering, travel and transport (including public transportation) and retail, as well as supporting SMEs in accepting its payment solutions.
“Through this strategic partnership with the major card scheme, 3C Payment is recognised as a key Payment Service Provider in the global market. We are proud to accompany UnionPay in their European expansion and allow our customers to enable payment with UnionPay brands,” commented Damien Estrade head of strategic partners management at 3C Payment.
“This new partnership represents a significant opportunity for merchants to offer multiple payment options and to attract many millions of UnionPay cardholders, whether they are based in Europe or visiting from overseas.”