Six Asia-Pacific countries adopt UnionPay chip card standard
CBA in payments deal with China's Alipay
First Data and Alipay bring Chinese mobile payments to the US
PBoC reports significant rise in mobile payments
Non-bank mobile payments in Q2 2016 up 111% year-on-year to 23.35tn yuan
Sources: China Daily; AFR; PaymentEye; NFC World
Point of View
Chinese payments brand initially expanded outside of China to support payment acceptance for tourists, but now the situation is changing. In October 2016, the Chinese payment card network, UnionPay, signed a co-operation agreement with “with seven members of the Asian Payment Network (APN)”. This extends UnionPay acceptance in these countries and, more importantly, means APN members will “adopt the UnionPay chip card standard for all the APN brand cards they issue”. As different market will have different requirements, it is likely to result in the UnionPay products becoming more flexible and being competitive with products from the other international brands.
In Australia, CBA have establish a relationship with Alipay one of China’s non-bank payment giants. This is a first with an Australian bank. The relationship is mirrored in other markets round the world, with one of the latest announcements publicising the relationship between First Data and Alipay in the US. These agreements follow on from Alipay developing relationships elsewhere such as with Wirecard for acceptance at German POS.
The CBA – Alipay relationship has occurred around a year after WeChat Payments entered an agreement with RoyalPay. RoyalPay reported in October 2015 that, in addition to Chinese tourists, WeChat penetration in Australia is “has exceeded 4 million, of which more than 1 million are active users“. This represents a significant (in Australian terms) number of users.
Acceptance of Chinese payment brands internationally started to support Chinese travellers to foreign markets, and has picked up considerably over the last few years. Support has extended to be a positive push from companies to develop relationships in other markets and establish their brands globally. Both of these elements seem set to continue and grow alongside the growth of trade and movement.
Clearly, this represents an opportunity for a local payments ecosystem, for participants to support acceptance but also for participants to look to adapt the more unique elements of the propositions, such as a particular user experience or settlement approach, to their own payment services. Collaboration here could benefit all participants, especially to ensure consistency across services to help to ease consumer adoption.