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China UnionPay
Operating area People's Republic of China
Members 200 (169 in China)
ATMs 120,000
Founded March 2002

China UnionPay (simplified Chinese: 中国银联), also known as UnionPay (Chinese: 银联) or by its abbreviation, CUP, is the only domestic credit 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). It is also the only interbank network in China excluding Hong Kong and Macau, linking the ATMs of some fourteen major banks and many more smaller banks throughout mainland China. 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.[1] 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.[2]

Use abroad

Almost all UnionPay Credit Cards are also affiliated with either MasterCard or VISA, and they can be used abroad as a regular Mastercard or VISA. UnionPay Debit Cards, however, can only be used in the UnionPay network and a few other networks that have signed contracts with UnionPay. While China UnionPay cards are making great inroads outside China, they are not widely accepted as of yet. However, since 2006, China UnionPay cards can be used in over twenty countries outside China, including the United States, UAE, Republic Of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.[3] UnionPay cards are also making inroads into other countries' interbank networks, with some networks, such as BancNet in the Philippines, already accepting UnionPay cards at the ATM level and the Point-of-Sale of all SM Prime Holdings, Inc.'s Department Store, Supermarket, Hypermarket, Super Sale, Watson's, Sports Central, Appliance and Toy Kingdom.

  • Australia - UnionPay cards are accepted at National Australia Bank ATMs and selected EFTPOS merchants, and Cashcard ATMs (a First Data company).[4]
  • Brazil - accepted in Brazil, at Citibank's ATMs for Reais withdrawals.
  • Canada -- accepted at all interac bank machines.[5]
  • Denmark - accepted in Denmark, in most shops and ATMs.
  • France - accepted in Printemps shops in Paris
  • 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 shops and ATMs in Hong Kong.
  • Indonesia - accepted at Citibank ATMs throughout Indonesian (currently none on Borneo).
  • 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).
  • Korea - accepted in some shops and cooperative with BC Card.
  • Malaysia - accepted in Hong Leong's cash machines.
  • Mexico - Banamex ATMs service UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Mexican Pesos.
  • New Zealand - UnionPay cards are accepted at the Bank of New Zealand's 420 ATM's nationwide and selected EFTPOS merchants.
  • Russia - Citibank and VTB accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs, Evrofinance Mosnarbank (Moscow) issies cards .
  • Singapore - accepted in ATMs displaying Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore (NETS) logos
  • Switzerland - Credit Suisse accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs.
  • Thailand - Kasikorn Bank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs (green in color) for Thai Bhat withdrawals as well as TMB Bank ATMs (blue and red in color)
  • UAE - Mashreqbank accepts China Unionpay cards at all its ATMs and point-of-sale machines in its Merchant network.
  • United Kingdom - On August 12th 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 LINK network. This cooperation marks the acceptance of CUP Card at all ATMs in UK.[1]
  • United States - Citibank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for USD withdrawal. 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.[6] 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.[7] However, Discover does not support China UnionPay for e-commerce or card-not-present transactions.
  • Vietnam - DongA Bank(Former East Asia Commercial Bank), Saigon Bank For Industry and Trade accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for VND withdrawal, and UOB Ho Chi Minh Branch accepts UnionPay cards on its merchant network in Vietnam.


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, six 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. Bank of East Asia is unique in being allowed to issue UnionPay credit cards in both Hong Kong and the mainland.

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


  1. ^ 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.  
  2. ^ "China UnionPay extends coverage globally". Xinhua news agency. 2006-02-02. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  3. ^ National Australia Bank and China UnionPay form new bond. Banking Business Review. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  4. ^ Tara Perkins (2009-09-27). "Interac ABMs to accept Chinese debit cards". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  
  5. ^ "China UnionPay accepted in U.S. on Discover/Pulse networks". People's Bank of China. 2005-12-06. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  6. ^ "Big Database of Credit Offers: Cards Accepted in the United States". wistex. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  

External links



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