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Commonwealth Bank announces partnership with China UnionPay

Media release

CommBank can

Media release

Commonwealth Bank announces partnership with China UnionPay

3.1 billion cards to now be accepted throughout merchant network

29 June 2012: Commonwealth Bank has today announced an acquiring agreement with China UnionPay (UnionPay) which will enable 3.1 billion UnionPay cards to be accepted at 170,000 Bank terminals across Australia.

UnionPay is one of the fastest growing and most widely recognised card networks in the world, accepted in 130 countries and regions. The new agreement, to be implemented over the next two years, will benefit the hundreds of thousands* of visitors, business travellers, students and migrants from Asia holding UnionPay cards that arrive on Australian shores every year.

Signed in Commonwealth Bank’s Shanghai offices, the agreement was witnessed by First Executive Vice President of China UnionPay Mr Cai Jianbo, Deputy NSW Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Stoner and Executive General Manager China, Commonwealth Bank, Karen Chen.

According to Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Executive General Manager of Business Products & Development, Commonwealth Bank, the new partnership is an exciting step forward in creating a more convenient and safe way for foreign visitors to make payments throughout Australia.

“Australia sees such a large number of visitors from Asia in the form of tourists, business travellers and students, which is why this agreement is so important,” said Ms Bayer Rosmarin.

“UnionPay has been growing at an astonishing rate with 3.1 billion cards on issue. Through this arrangement, visitors will be able to use their UnionPay cards throughout our extensive network, making it easier for them to make payments and removing a common concern many can have when travelling to foreign shores.”

Ms Bayer Rosmarin added that it was also positive news for Australian merchants, opening up a new form of payment for their business.

“Australian merchants will also benefit from the ability to process a wider range of payment options. Through our arrangement with UnionPay, they will have access to a particularly large and important market, being able to cater to the needs of the high number of visitors from Asia we see each year.”

James Yang, Chief Representative Australia for UnionPay, said UnionPay was excited to be in partnership with Commonwealth Bank.

“UnionPay continues to grow its network globally and Australia is a very important market for Chinese visitors and residents. This agreement will provide more merchants in Australia access to the fast growing Chinese consumer market. Every Chinese visitor to Australia already carries one or more UnionPay cards and now our cardholders will be able to use their primary cards at even more locations,” said Mr Yang.

Today’s announcement marks the further expansion of the Bank’s relationship with China, with growing operations in regional locations through five County Banks in the Henan Province of China (Jiyuan, Dengfeng, Lankao, Yichuan and Mianchi).

The County Banks are co-owned by Commonwealth Bank (80%) and Bank of Hangzhou (HZB, 20%). The counties have significant populations that range between 300,000 (approximate size of Wollongong) to 800,000 (approximate size of Canberra and Newcastle combined) and boast impressive recent yearly economic growth rates of above 10%.

Commonwealth Bank has held a representative office in Beijing since 1992. In addition to its presence in regional China, the Bank holds investments in two China City Commercial Banks, with a 20% share in Bank of Hangzhou (HZB) and Bank of Qilu (QLB) respectively. The Bank also has a 37.5% share in a joint venture life insurance partnership – BoCommLife with Bank of Communications, the 5th largest bank in China and a 46% stake in First State Cinda Fund Management Co. Ltd through Colonial First State Global Asset Management. Its Shanghai branch provides institutional banking and market services to primarily international customers.

* 2012 International Visitors Survey (March), Tourism Research Australia

 

-ENDS-

 

For further information, please contact:

Tim Mullen
Public Relations Advisor
Commonwealth Bank

D: +61 2 9118 1667
M: +61 424 141 483
E: tim.mullen@cba.com.au

 

About China UnionPay

China UnionPay operates the inter-bank clearing and settlement systems, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network; promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders. To date, the total number of the UnionPay Card issued both at home and aboard has exceeded 3.1 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all the cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled the UnionPay Card acceptance over 130 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with about 400 institutions around the world. www.unionpay.com

 

Media contact:

Tim Mullen
D: +61 2 9118 1667
M: +61 424 141 483
E: tim.mullen@cba.com.au