The cumulative number of UnionPay cards issued globally has exceeded 5 billion and UnionPay has become Chinese residents' preferred payment brand, Ge Huayong, Chairman of China UnionPay, said at the opening ceremony of 2015 Shanghai City Campaign in Milano on June 10.
Ge said secure, convenient, preferential and innovative payment services are able to make life more convenient, stimulate consumption, facilitate trade and connect to the world in building smart cities, and UnionPay is seeking opportunities for growth in this trend.
UnionPay is the official payment service provider of the China Pavilion in Milan Expo, and is also the partner of the Shanghai City Campaign in Milan .
While providing payment services to the world's largest cardholder base, UnionPay is working closely with major cities including Shanghai to improve its services.
The payment network has built up a platform where residents are able to pay utility and credit card bills conveniently. It has also been promoting the contactless UnionPay QuickPass service for small-ticket transactions, by which payment can be completed with a simple tap-and-go.
To keep up with the trends of the payment market, UnionPay has created an online payment platform and stepped up efforts in mobile payment. Its online and mobile payment users have surpassed 200 million to date.
In overseas markets, innovative UnionPay products and services are increasingly being used, with 10 million online merchants outside the Chinese mainland currently accepting payment with UnionPay cards. As UnionPay chip cards are issued in a large scale, innovative applications including QuickPass are also being enriched.
"After years of exploration and considering the current market environment and trends, UnionPay has found a strategic positioning that suits its development. And that positioning is to be an open and comprehensive service platform with global influence," he said.
"To realize that goal, internationalization is essential. After 13 years of fast development, UnionPay as a payment network now ranks No. 2 in terms of global transaction volume and No. 3 in terms of acceptance footprint. This has set the foundation for our global development and we will stick to the strategy of going global to build UnionPay into a global network and international brand."
UnionPay International also announced on the same day a partnership with CartaSi, the largest acquirer in Italy , which will see 15,000 merchants under CartaSi start accepting UnionPay cards by the end of July this year.