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China UnionPay
China UnionPay (simplified Chinese: 中国银联; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yínlián), also known as UnionPay (simplified Chinese: 银联; pinyin: Yínlián) or by its abbreviation, CUP, is the only domestic bank 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. 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.

Use Abroad

Now UnionPay card can be used in 104 countries and regions around the world. Some UnionPay Credit Cards are also affiliated with either American Express, MasterCard or Visa, and they can be used abroad as an American Express, Mastercard or Visa. UnionPay Debit Cards, however, can only be used in the UnionPay network and other networks that have signed contracts with UnionPay. Since 2006, China UnionPay cards can be used in over 100 countries outside China, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. 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.

UnionPay Cards
Afghanistan : UnionPay cards are accepted in 40 ATMs in Afghanistan main cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
Australia : UnionPay cards are accepted at National Australia Bank ATMs and selected EFTPOS merchants, and Cashcard ATMs (a First Data company).
Belgium : accepted in Belgium, at BNP Paribas Fortis's ATMs for Euro withdrawals.
Brazil : accepted in Brazil, at Citibank's ATMs for Brazilian real withdrawals.
Canada : accepted at all interac bank machines.
Cambodia : accepted at Canadia Bank ATMs.
Congo : accepted in 2 banks in Kinshasa city
Denmark : accepted in Denmark, in most shops and ATMs.
Djibouti : accepted in 6 banks in the capital (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
Egypt : accepted in nearly 100 ATMs in the main cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
Fiji : accepted in Prouds Duty Free shops in Nadi International Airport.
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.
Hungary : UnionPay cards are accepted at OTP ATMs in Hungary.
Indonesia : accepted at Citibank, DBS, HSBC, ICBC and OCBC NISP ATMs throughout Indonesian (currently none on Borneo).
Iraq : At the moment UnionPay cards can be used in 20 ATM in Iraq (in Baghdad, Erbil and other cities) at CUP and CSC banks. (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search )
Italy : Up to now, UnionPay cards could be used on nearly half of the ATMs machines in Italy and at more than 40000 department stores, brand stores, and hotel and catering merchants (from the UnionPay English site main page news, in the article with the title "UnionPay cooperating with Italy Starhotels to improve UnionPay card" and from UnionPay English Site > Globalization > Merchant search.)
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).
South Korea : accepted in some bank's ATMs, and some shops.
Malaysia : accepted in Hong Leong's cash machines.
Mexico : Banamex ATMs service UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Mexican pesos.
Mongolia : Golomt Bank ATMs service UnionPay customers for cash withdrawals in Mongolian tögrögs.
New Zealand : UnionPay cards are accepted at the Bank of New Zealand's 420 ATM's nationwide and selected EFTPOS merchants.
Russia : Citibank, Bank of Moscow, VTB and Uniastrum accept UnionPay cards at ATMs, Evrofinance Mosnarbank (Moscow) issues cards.
Singapore : accepted in ATMs displaying Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore (NETS) logos.
Switzerland : Credit Suisse accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs.
Syrian Arab
: UnionPay cards accepted in nearly 100 ATMs in Syria big cities (from English Site > Globalization > ATM search)
Thailand : Kasikorn Bank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs (green in color) for Thai baht withdrawals as well as TMB Bank ATMs (blue and red in color).
Turkey : UnionPay cards are accepted at the Garanti Bank's more than 2,700 ATMs and other bank ATMs bearing the UnionPay logo (all have Chinese interfaces). UnionPay cards are accepted at tens of thousands of merchants - mainly in major tourist cities and areas.
United Arab
: Mashreqbank accepts China Unionpay cards at all its ATMs and point-of-sale machines in its Merchant network.
United Kingdom : On August 12, 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 the LINK network. This cooperation marks the acceptance of CUP Card at all ATMs in UK
United States : Citibank accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for United States dollar withdrawals. 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.[9] 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. However, Discover does not support China UnionPay for e-commerce or card-not-present transactions.
Vietnam : DongA Bank (the former East Asia Commercial Bank), Saigon Bank For Industry and Trade accepts UnionPay cards at ATMs for Vietnamese đồng withdrawal, and United Overseas Bank Ho Chi Minh Branch accepts UnionPay cards on its merchant network in Vietnam. On October 23, 2008, China Unionpay and VietcomBank, the biggest ATM and POS network in Vietnam, announced the acceptance of China Unionpay (CUP) Card at all ATMs and merchants in the Vietcombank network.


UnionPay is the primary network of the following banks listed below:
• Agricultural Bank of China
• Bank of China (including its Hong Kong-based subsidiary
   Nanyang Commercial Bank)
• Bank of Communications (Credit cards co-issued with HSBC)
• Bank of Ningbo
• Bank of Shanghai
• Beijing Commercial Bank
• China Construction Bank
• China CITIC Bank
• China Merchants Bank
• China Minsheng Banking Corporation
• Guangdong Development Bank
• Huaxia Bank (Credit cards co-issued with Deutsche Bank)
• Industrial Bank (Credit cards co-issued with Hang Seng
• Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
• Postal Savings Bank of China (formerly known as the China
   Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau)
• Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (Credit cards co-
   issued with Citibank)
• China Everbright Bank
• Shenzhen Development Bank
• Shenzhen Ping An Bank
• Taizhou City Commercial Bank

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, ten foreign banks have the right to issue UnionPay debit cards in China:
• Standard Chartered Bank • Woori Bank (as of May 2009)
• Bank of East Asia • Development Bank of Singapore (as of July 2009)
• Citibank • Hana Bank (as of November 2009)
• HSBC • Wing Hang Bank (as of 2010)
• Hang Seng Bank • OCBC Bank (as of 2010)

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 independently issue UnionPay credit cards in both Hong Kong and the mainland. HSBC and its subsidiary Hang Seng Bank independently issue UnionPay credit cards in Hong Kong while they issue cards in the mainland in cooperation with local banks as noted above. Citibank uses the same arrangement (independently issuing UnionPay cards in Hong Kong while co-issuing with a partner in the mainland) and Deutsche Bank only has co-issued cards, with no independently-issued UnionPay credit cards.

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.

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