It’s common knowledge that Australia is a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Last year alone Australia received 1.3 million Chinese visitors – a year on year growth of around 20% – and this year China is expected to surpass New Zealand for the first time, as Australia’s largest tourism source.
As Chinese tourism continues to climb in the land down under, for Australian retailers the important thing to know is many of those visiting Australia bring UnionPay cards with them.
Who is UnionPay?
UnionPay is an international bankcard scheme, and UnionPay International focuses on its global business. UnionPay cards are currently accepted in 162 countries and regions, covering more than 41 million merchants and over 2 million ATMs. Its prominence has resulted in over 6.5 billion UnionPay cards being issued in 42 countries and regions, and it serves the world’s largest cardholder base.
UnionPay in Australia
UnionPay International’s efforts to grow the Australian market, has led to UnionPay securing partnerships with key players such as the four major banks – CommBank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB. Currently, 90% of ATMs and 70% of merchants in Australia accept UnionPay cards, covering duty-free stores, shopping centres, brand stores, souvenir shops and restaurants frequently visited by tourists.
UnionPay mobile payment solutions: For customers who like the convenience of making smartphone payments, UnionPay also offers its mobile payment solution: mobile QuickPass, which enables customers to tap and pay. Over 60% of Australian stores accept mobile QuickPass, including but not limited to Myer, Harvey Norman, UNIQLO and MUJI.
Where UnionPay is accepted:
- Qantas Airway: As the first Australian airline supporting UnionPay Online Payment, Qantas Airways has opened non-stop flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to Sydney and Melbourne. In the future, cardholders will be able to pay with UnionPay cards on board.
- Woolworths: Earlier this year, UnionPay secured a partnership with Australian supermarket chain Woolworths, which meant cardholders could pay with their UnionPay cards and mobile QuickPass at Woolworths supermarkets. Plans are currently in the works to extend UnionPay acceptance to other Woolworths Group brands.
- Universities: In Australia, an increasing number of universities, middle schools and private schools support UnionPay cards to pay tuitions and purchase student insurance. Institutions of higher learning like UNSW Institute of Languages and Curtin University can support cross-border online tuition payments of UnionPay cards.
- Major tourist hotspots. Other than working with Australia’s big four banks, UnionPay also has a cross-border relationship with Tourism Australia and state bureaus in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The ultimate aim for UnionPay is to ensure that cardholders enjoy wide acceptance of UnionPay cards in Australia and exclusive privileges when spending at Australian restaurants, shopping outlets, hotels, and scenic spots.
- Online: On top of growing its acceptance at bricks and mortar stores, UnionPay is looking to expand its acceptance online. Currently, there are a range of online merchants accepting UnionPay cards in Australia, which cover everything from transportation and tourism to education and shopping, including the official website of Qantas Airways, Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, Terry White Chemist and UNSW Institute of Languages and Curtin University.
As you can see, with the growth of Chinese tourism in Australia, the acceptance of UnionPay cards for Australian retailers becomes all the more important. To find out more about UnionPay International visit its website here or read our recent blog: Payment system UnionPay, gaining popularity in Australia.