Visa ready for China market opening

Updated: 2013-05-14 02:03

By WANG XIAOTIAN (China Daily)

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In November 2012, UnionPay International Co Ltd was launched in Shanghai to increase its global expansion.

Transactions at merchants using cards carrying the American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Mastercard, Unionpay, and Visa brands totaled nearly 149.4 billion in 2012, a rise of 9.7 percent on 2011, according to the Nilson Report, a source of global news and analysis covering the credit, debit and prepaid card industries, published in March.

Visa debit cards continued to account for most transactions at merchants, with a share of 39.3 percent, followed by Visa credit cards with nearly 22.8 percent.

UnionPay credit card contributed to 3.17 percent of global transactions at merchants, while transactions made through its debit cards accounted for 2.86 percent.

The report added that while UnionPay had the highest percentage increase in purchase transactions (up 40.5 percent), it only added 2.6 billion transactions compared to an increase of 5.04 billion for Visa and 4.92 billion for MasterCard.

UnionPay ranked fifth globally in terms of global acceptance locations, the Nilson Report said, while Visa and Mastercard topped the list with 35.9 billion locations worldwide.

"I believe that UnionPay will become a global force, as a lot of Chinese are going overseas. This is natural. It's just a matter of time," Chong at KPMG said.

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