Visa and Ascenda have announced a new international partnership, focused on facilitating cross-border transactions for and cultivating cardholder loyalty among Chinese consumers. 

The collaboration will see Ascenda power a new customer engagement programme for NYSE-listed payments provider Visa, as the latter plans to issue a ‘compelling alternative’ for cross-border transactions to over 20 Visa users in China, as opposed to the classic cashback scheme.

By utilising the programme, Visa’s Chinese cardholders will be able to receive cashback US dollars automatically or earn points for hotel loyalty programmes, with the firm outlining that it aims to ‘deliver extra value’ to its regional customers via ‘innovative engagement campaigns’. 

Larry Ma, Senior Director of Digital Loyalty Solutions, Visa, said: “China is a critical growth market and we’re thrilled to partner with Ascenda to modernise cross-border payments and drive cardholder loyalty for our issuers.

“Chinese consumers are digitally savvy and highly engaged in international e-commerce, so it’s never been more important to enable issuers to capture cross-border spend.”

The agreement marks a further expansion of Visa’s operations in Asia, particularly Southeast and East Asia, following on from a partnership inked with Malaysian fintech Touch ‘n Go Group in the fourth quarter of last year. 

Meanwhile, Visa’s international activities in western Asia saw the company link with Mashreq for the debut of the ‘Rapid Seller Onboarding’ program in the UAE, centred around the onboarding journey for small and medium businesses. 

For Visa’s latest partnership, Ascenda’s role will see the firm offer its global customer engagement capabilities, whilst Visa will also integrate with rewards redemption platform TransferConnect in order to deliver rewards in the Chinese market. 

Kyle Armstrong, CEO, Ascenda, remarked: “We’re excited to partner with Visa in China as appetite for international e-commerce transactions continues to grow. Our market-first rewards program disrupts the cashback era in China and delivers an exciting new world of aspirational rewards.”