ASIA United Bank Corp. (AUB) said it signed a partnership agreement with China’s UnionPay in order to better serve UnionPay cardholders’ cashless transactions in the Philippines.
In a statement Friday, the bank said the partnership with UnionPay will allowing cardholders from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Vietnam to purchase items from AUB partner merchants through UnionPay’s quick-response (QR) code starting this month.
Under the terms of the deal, AUB’s merchant partners will be able to accept payments from UnionPay cardholders though the AUB PayMate mobile application which will process the QR code-based transactions.
“Partnering with UnionPay also has the potential to accelerate the country’s shift to cashless transactions, which is aligned with AUB’s goal of flexibility and innovation,” AUB Head of Cards & Acquiring Business Maria Magdalena V. Surtida was quoted as saying in the statement.
She added that UnionPay QR code payments offer the benefits of a cashless economy to cardholders and businesses.
Banks have been developing and enhancing their electronic banking systems, in line with the central bank’s directive to promote a shift to a “cash-lite” economy.
The main goal is to raise the share of electronic payments to 20% of total transactions by 2020, from 1% in 2013.
AUB has also partnered with Chinese mobile payment providers WeChat Pay as well as Alipay to better service the needs of Chinese visitors.
AUB added that the partnership will strengthen UnionPay’s acceptance network globally, bringing the total number of the payment firm’s QR code merchants to over 10 million in over 25 economies.
Currently, UnionPay has over 7 billion cards issued in 51 countries, with an acceptance network of 52 million merchants and 2.6 million automated teller machines across 171 countries.
AUB booked a P2.3-billion net profit in the first nine months of the year, up 4.5% from a year earlier, on the back of strong growth in its lending business.
AUB fell 20 centavos or 0.34% to close on Friday at P59. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal