UnionPay is a bank card company which accepts transactions within and between many different countries. It was set up in 2002 in China and is a bankcard association. It is the only bank card organisation in the Republic of China for domestic use. It has about 400 associate members at the moment and is a big part of the bankcard industry in China. It allows money transfers between different banks within China and across the world. The cards are now accepted in 141 different countries outside of China and can be used in many ATMs as well as to pay bills, book tickets, at merchant POS terminals and many other things. The amount that the cards can be used depends on the country that you live in. However, they are used widely in China and often taken abroad by the Chinese and used mainly for ATM withdrawals although in some countries they can be used for other transactions too.
The UnionPay bank card has the word UnionPay on it in English as well as the Chinese character 银联. These are on a background of red, blue and green stripes. The red is aggressive, the blue is deep and the green is efficient and so the colours have strong significance for the company. The English word is on there as well as the Chinese, so that the card is more recognisable internationally. As the use of the card is growing then the logo is getting more recognised across the world.
More and more banks are accepting the bank card and therefore more people are using them. This means that anyone in China or travelling there will have an advantage if they have one of these cards. As a merchant, if you accept the card, you will also be opening yourself up to a great deal of business from China and Asia as well as other countries across the world. Some of the UnionPay credit cards can be used in the same way abroad as an American Express card but only with networks that have signed contracts with UnionPay. In some countries they are easier to use than others. In the UK, for example, they have joined together with LINK to be able to be accepted at every ATM within the LINK network which is almost every ATM in the country. In the USA the cards can be used at any ATM for withdrawal of US dollars and can be accepted anywhere that Discover Network is accepted. Some countries display the UnionPay logo on the ATMs that can be used and others can be accepted at specific banks. It is well worth checking on the UnionPay website to find out where the card can be used before you rely on it when travelling. Some countries accept is widely, but others do not.
Cards can be issued by a selection of Chinese banks as well as some in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. This means that it is fairly easy to get a card, should you require one. You will need to complete an application and some card issuers may require a credit check. It may not be so easy to get a card if you live outside of these countries, but for those living in China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong it should be a fairly straightforward process. The type of card that you are offered may depend on your credit score though.
The card can therefore be an extremely useful thing to have. You can use it easily in China, but if you are travelling abroad or buying things online from foreign websites, it is often possible to use the card as well. This means that you have the security of a card abroad and you should be able to use it at ATMs as well as to purchase items from certain places as well. It can make getting money and paying a lot easier.
There is a selection of cards available to choose from as well. There is a debit card, credit card, prepaid card and commercial card. This means that there is the option to choose a card that most suits your personal needs. A debit card allows you to withdraw cash as well as pay for items where the money will be instantly deducted from your bank account. A credit card allows you to buy things without having to pay for them instantly and you can draw cash on them, although this tends to come with a charge. You will get charged interest on a credit card if you do not pay back the full balance when required, but you can use them to borrow money, by just paying back a small minimum each month, should you wish to. A pre-paid card is a good option for people who worry about debt. You can load money on to the card and then are restricted in spending as to just the amount that is on there. This can also be a useful way to budget, if you find this difficult to do normally. A commercial card is a credit card issued to businesses which can be useful if employees need to buy items on expenses such as paying for flights, hotels and fuel. They can be especially useful for business trips.
Therefore a UnionPay card can be extremely good. The company are well established in China and the cards are becoming accepted in more and more countries and in many different places. They can be used for drawing cash form ATMs as well as making purchases in some places as well. It is possible to choose between different types of cards so that you can find one that suits your needs. For the Chinese they are something which will allow many people easy access to money at home and abroad. For anyway travelling to China or even other parts of Asia, the cards could also be a very useful way to withdraw money as well as pay for items.