UnionPay International and PayPal Enter Global Partnership

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Two of the world’s leading payments giants have entered an agreement for cooperation on a global scale.

The global partnership between China UnionPay subsidiary UnionPay International (UPI) and US payments giant PayPal will see both parties work together to accelerate the international growth of their respective networks.

Under the agreement PayPal will support the acceptance of UnionPay cards wherever PayPal is accepted internationally, while in return UPI will lend support to PayPal’s efforts to expand into China’s vendor and consumer markets.

At the start of Oc­to­ber the Peo­ple’s Bank of China (PBOC) gave its ap­proval to Pay­Pal’s ac­qui­si­tion of a 70% eq­uity stake in Chi­nese pay­ments com­pany Go­Pay (国付宝), mak­ing the US pay­ments gi­ant the first for­eign-in­vested com­pany to gain ac­cess to the do­mes­tic sec­tor. 

UnionPay cards can already be used with PayPal wallets in a range of countries throughout the Asia-Pacific, including Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, enabling cardholders to shop at the 24 million merchants around the world that accept PayPal wallet payments.

UPI and PayPal plan to further add another 30 markets to the plan throughout the course of 2020.

“At PayPal, we are proud of this landmark agreement with UnionPay International and the global impact that this creates for our joint customers, building on our status as the first foreign payments platform licensed to process online payments in China,” said Jim Magats, senior vice president of global payments, PayPal.

“The partnership will give UnionPay customers more choice when shopping cross border and has the ability to contribute to the overall growth of China’s e-commerce ecosystem.

“It will also give PayPal the opportunity to explore the option to expand PayPal’s digital wallet to physical retail locations where UnionPay is accepted in China, or internationally.”

UnionPay’s global acceptance network has already expanded to 178 countries and regions encompassing 29 million merchants, with 3 million merchants commencing acceptance of UnionPay cards in 2019 alone.

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