China UnionPay

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China UnionPay
Zhōngguó Yínlián
UnionPay logo.svg
Operating area People's Republic of China
Members 296 (232 in China)
ATMs 1,200,000
Founded March 2002

China UnionPay (Chinese: 中国银联; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yínlián), also known as UnionPay (Chinese: 银联; pinyin: Yínlián) or by its abbreviation, CUP, is the only domestic bank card organization in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Founded in March 2002, China UnionPay is an association for China's banking card industry, operating under the approval of the People's Bank of China (PBOC, central bank of China).[1] It is also the only interbank network in China excluding Hong Kong and Macau, linking the ATMs of all banks throughout mainland China and widely accepted by the ATMs in Hong Kong and Macau. It is also an EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) network.


With the approval of the People's Bank of China, China UnionPay was launched on March 26, 2002 in Shanghai by PBOC governor Dai Xianglong, with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank serving as its first members.[2] However, the concept of a unified Chinese bank card network dates back to 1993, with the formation of the "Golden Card Project" advocated by then-Chinese president Jiang Zemin. UnionPay is considered the descendant of the Golden Card Project, although attempts at unifying China's various credit card and interbank networks have been in place since the 1990s.[3]

UnionPay may be contributing to capital flight from China, through poorly regulated store front operations in Macau.[4]

Quick Pay[edit]

Upon the introduction of EMV chips into China UnionPay cards, many banks also introduced Quick Pass (闪付) a contactless payment feature similar to MasterCard's PayPass or Visa's payWave. However, unlike MasterCard or Visa's implementation, in the case of debit cards, Quick Pay does not operate on a trust-based system, but rather as a stored-value card.

Payments by Quick Pass-enabled debit cards can only be made using funds which have been "withdrawn" from the account and stored on the card itself as electronic cash (essentially preauthorising the funds for use, eliminating the possibility that an offline transaction may exceed the account holder's balance) .

Use abroad[edit]

Now UnionPay cards can be used in 141 countries and regions around the world (second-largest payment network by value of transactions processed, behind Visa.). Some UnionPay Credit Cards are also affiliated with either American Express, MasterCard or Visa, and they can be used abroad as an American Express, MasterCard or Visa. UnionPay Debit Cards, however, can only be used in the UnionPay network and other networks that have signed contracts with UnionPay. Since 2006, China UnionPay cards can be used in over 100 countries outside China.[5] A 3D hologram of the Temple of Heaven is used on UnionPay credit cards.

  •  Afghanistan: UnionPay cards are accepted in 40 ATMs in Afghanistan main cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
  •  Australia: UnionPay cards are accepted at National Australia Bank ATMs and EFTPOS merchants. In February 2013, NAB added UnionPay eCommerce acceptance to its payment gateway.[6] UnionPay cards can also used at Cashcard ATMs (a First Data company). UnionPay cards are also accepted at David Jones. Commonwealth Bank has accepted UnionPay cards since June 2013.
  •  Belgium: Not accepted at BNP Paribas Fortis' ATMs for Euro withdrawals. UnionPay is no longer accepted at Citibank since its rebranding to Beobank. Accepted in retail stores at Maasmechelen Shopping Village and in DiamondLAND in the Antwerp diamond quarter
  •  Brazil: accepted in Brazil, at Citibank's ATMs and Itau's ATMs for Brazilian real withdrawals.
  •  Canada: accepted at all Interac bank machines.[7]
  •  Cambodia: accepted at Canadia Bank ATMs.[8]
  •  Colombia: accepted at Citibank's ATMs throughout the country.
  •  Congo: accepted in 2 banks in Kinshasa city.
  •  Czech: accepted at Komercni banka ATMs.
  •  Ghana: accepted in some ATMS.
  •  Denmark: accepted in Denmark, in most shops.
  •  Djibouti: accepted in 6 banks in the capital (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
  •  Egypt: accepted in nearly 100 ATMs in the main cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
  •  Fiji: accepted in Prouds Duty Free shops in Nadi International Airport.
  •  France: accepted in Printemps shops in Paris and in all Crédit Agricole and Caisse d'Epargne ATMs.
  •  Georgia: UnionPay cards are accepted at Liberty Bank ATMs throughout Georgia.
  •  Germany: some Sparkassen (German credit unions) already accept UnionPay cards at ATMs for euro withdrawals. Accepted at some outlet shopping malls.
  •  Hong Kong: UnionPay cards are accepted at most of shops and all the ATMs in Hong Kong.
  •  Hungary: UnionPay cards are accepted at OTP ATMs in Hungary.
  •  Indonesia: accepted throughout Indonesia at the ATMs of BCA, Citibank, DBS, HSBC, ICBC, and OCBC NISP.
  •  Israel: UnionPay cards are accepted wherever LeumiCard is accepted.[9]
  •  Iraq: At the moment UnionPay cards can be used in 20 ATM in Iraq (in Baghdad, Erbil and other cities) at CUP[disambiguation needed] and CSC[disambiguation needed] banks. (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
  •  Italy: Up to now, UnionPay cards could be used on nearly half of the ATMs in Italy and at more than 40000 department stores, brand stores, and hotel and catering merchants (from the UnionPay English site main page news, in the article with the title "UnionPay cooperating with Italy Starhotels to improve UnionPay card" [2] and from UnionPay English Site > Globalization > Merchant search.)
  •  Japan: accepted in Japan Post's and 7-11's cash machines and some shops (Matsumoto Kiyoshi is one of the few chains to accept UnionPay cards at all locations; most chains will only accept UnionPay cards at central city locations). UnionPay is also accepted by Rakuten Card merchants since 2013. [3]
  •  Laos: Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao
  •  Macau: accepted in ATMs and most of shops.
  •  Malaysia: accepted in Hong Leong's cash machines.
  •  Maldives: accepted in Bank of Maldives's ATMs.
  •  Mexico: Banamex ATMs service UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Mexican pesos.[10]
  •  Mongolia: Golomt Bank ATMs service UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Mongolian tögrögs.
  •  Myanmar: Co-operative Bank Ltd ATMs accepts UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Myanmar kyats.
  •    Nepal: UnionPay cards are accepted at Himalayan Bank Limited's 72 ATMs nationwide and at more than 1100 ATMs of it partner network. Cards can also be used at more than 900 of the bank's own and 950 partner network's POS centers.
  •  New Zealand: UnionPay cards are accepted at the Bank of New Zealand's 420 ATM's nationwide and selected EFTPOS merchants.
  •  Nigeria: UnionPay cards are accepted at the United Bank for Africa's 1,500 ATM's nationwide and selected merchant locations. They are also accepted in all branches of Heritage Bank in Nigeria
  •  Pakistan: Introduced by Faysal Bank .
  •  Poland: accepted in Citibank's ATMs .
  •  Peru: accepted in GlobalNet's 1403 ATMs throughout this country.
  •  Philippines: widely accepted at most ATM's and Retail Stores.
  •  Russia: MoskomPrivatBank (PrivatBank Russia), Citibank, Bank of Moscow, VTB, MTSBank, Orient Express Bank, Russian Standard Bank, Dalcombank, PromServisBank, InterProgressBank, NRBank, Rosbank, RosEvroBank, Asian-PacificOceanBank, BBRBank, Alef-bank, Alef-bank, InterCommerceBank, Alta-Bank, Guta-Bank, Center-Invest bank, ATB bank and Uniastrum[11] accept UnionPay cards at ATMs and POS-Terminals, Evrofinance Mosnarbank (Moscow) issues cards.
  •  Singapore: accepted in ATMs displaying Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore (NETS) logos.
  •  South Africa: accepted in ATMs from First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank.[12]
  •  South Korea: accepted in some bank's Global ATMs, and BC marked stores.
  •  Spain: accepted in La Caixa, Euro6000 bank's Global ATMs, and El Corte Ingles department stores. Also accepted at Citibank, Banco Bilbao Vicaya Argentina and Sistema 4B ATMs.
  •  Sri Lanka: accepted in Commercial Bank's ATMs .
  •   Switzerland: UnionPay cards are accepted on all Bancomat labelled ATMs, merchants of SIX Group can accept UnionPay cards [13]
  •  Syrian Arab Republic: UnionPay cards accepted in nearly 100 ATMs in Syria big cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search)
  •  Taiwan: accepted in ATMs, retail stores and taxis.
  •  Tanzania: CRDB Bank will soon allow cardholders to use its, ATMS, PoS and counters.[14]
  •  Thailand: Kasikorn Bank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs (green in color) for Thai baht withdrawals as well as TMB Bank ATMs (blue and red in color). Most of the thai ATMs accept Unionpay cards, roughly 90% of them except Aeon bank, which is one of very few banks not charging 150THB fee for withdrawal with foreign card.
  •  Turkey: UnionPay cards are accepted at the Garanti Bank's more than 2,700 ATMs and other bank ATMs bearing the UnionPay logo (all have Chinese interfaces). UnionPay cards are accepted at tens of thousands of merchants - mainly in major tourist cities and areas.
  •  United Arab Emirates: Mashreqbank accepts China Unionpay cards at all its ATMs and point-of-sale machines in its Merchant network.
  •  United Kingdom: On August 12, 2009, China Unionpay and LINK, the only national ATM network in UK, jointly held a ceremony to announce the acceptance of China Unionpay (CUP) Card at all ATMs in the LINK network. This cooperation marks the acceptance of CUP Card at all ATMs in UK.[15]
  •  United States of America: Citibank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for United States dollar withdrawals. In May 2005 Discover Network announced an alliance with China UnionPay Network. The two companies have signed a long-term agreement that allows acceptance of Discover Network brand cards at UnionPay ATMs and point-of-sale terminals in China and acceptance of China UnionPay cards on the PULSE network in the U.S. Wells Fargo accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for United States dollar withdrawals, recently confirmed in February 2013.[16] As of November 1, 2007, China UnionPay cards may be accepted where Discover Network Cards are accepted in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.[17] However, Discover does not support China UnionPay for e-commerce or card-not-present transactions. As of early 2013 Discover now supports card-not-present transactions.
  •  Vietnam: DongA Bank (the former East Asia Commercial Bank), Saigon Bank For Industry and Trade accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for Vietnamese đồng withdrawal, and United Overseas Bank Ho Chi Minh Branch accepts UnionPay cards on its merchant network in Vietnam. On October 23, 2008, China Unionpay and VietcomBank, the biggest ATM and POS network in Vietnam, announced the acceptance of China Unionpay (CUP) Card at all ATMs and merchants in the Vietcombank network.

With respect to E-Commerce, in March 2010 PayPal announced a partnership with China UnionPay enabling the use of PayPal with UnionPay member cards.


UnionPay is the primary network of the following banks listed below:

Other UnionPay-affiliated organizations include certain municipal commercial banks as well as rural credit cooperatives. Other financial institutions in cities that are already capable of issuing cards will issue UnionPay cards in succession.

In addition, ten foreign banks have the right to issue UnionPay debit cards in China:

While Mitsui Sumitomo Bank offers a UnionPay credit card in Japan, and United Overseas Bank offers a UnionPay credit card in Singapore. As of January 2013, Bank of East Asia and Citibank are the only two banks allowed to independently issue UnionPay credit cards in both Hong Kong and the mainland. HSBC and its subsidiary Hang Seng Bank independently issue UnionPay credit cards in Hong Kong while they issue cards in the mainland in cooperation with local banks as noted above. Deutsche Bank only has co-issued cards, with no independently issued UnionPay credit cards.

Overall, there are 165 financial institutions that issue UnionPay cards.

Outside China, UnionPay has partnerships with other ATM networks. UnionPay has a partnership with JETCO in Hong Kong and Macau, both of which are not included in the UnionPay system, although this ended as of January 1, 2006. UnionPay also has affiliations with other banks' networks: this is identified with a UnionPay sticker being displayed usually on the door of the ATM room or on the ATM itself. The sticker has the UnionPay logo and the words "Welcome to use China UnionPay cards" displayed on the bottom in English and Chinese.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview". 
  2. ^ Dai Xianglong (2002-03-26). "Remarks by Mr. Dai Xianglong, Governor of the PBC at the Opening Ceremony of China Unionpay". People's Bank of China. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  3. ^ Pomfret, James (11 March 2014). "Special Report: How China's official bank card is used to smuggle money". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "China UnionPay extends coverage globally". Xinhua news agency. 2006-02-02. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  5. ^ "National Australia Bank and UnionPay to launch new online payment capability". The Paypers. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  6. ^ Tara Perkins (2009-09-27). "Interac ABMs to accept Chinese debit cards". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  7. ^ "CUP". Canadia Bank, PLC. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1], Mexico-UnionPay.
  10. ^ Uniastrum ATMs now accept China UnionPay credit cards
  11. ^ "Standard Bank opens ATMs to China UnionPay customers". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  12. ^ "SIX Pay Expands Its Product Range". SIX Payment Services. 2011-04-14. 
  13. ^ "CRDB Bank to hook China Unionpay card". Daily News (Tanzania). Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "ATM Acceptance Business of CUP Card Completely Opened in UK" (press release). China Unionpay, August 13, 2009. Accessed February 16, 2010.
  15. ^ "China UnionPay accepted in U.S. on Discover/Pulse networks". People's Bank of China. 2005-12-06. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Big Database of Credit Offers: Cards Accepted in the United States". wistex. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 

External links[edit]