China and ASEAN countries strengthen digital payment cooperation

UnionPay international recently announced that it has reached a cooperation agreement with a Vietnamese financial institution to issue 600000 UnionPay virtual cards to support online card application and code scanning payment. At present, the coverage rate of UnionPay cards in 10 ASEAN countries has reached 80%.

Data show that in 2020, more than 6 million UnionPay virtual cards will be issued overseas, of which about 3.5 million will be launched in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, more than 70% of merchants and 90% of ATMs can use UnionPay cards. Previously, UnionPay international and cebuana lhuillier Bank of the Philippines reached an agreement to issue 6 million UnionPay cards within two years from December 2020, which is the first large-scale issuance of UnionPay cards in the Philippines. The new card will open online payment and “take” card flash payment function.

Southeast Asia has a population of over 600 million, and cash transactions account for a large proportion. In order to improve financial services, many countries take the development of digital payment as an important goal. Take Vietnam as an example. From 2019, June 16 of each year will be designated as “no cash day” to encourage the reduction of cash use. During the period of epidemic prevention and control, a survey on Vietnamese consumers showed that 74% of respondents wanted to increase cashless payment business, and 80% of respondents were interested in new payment methods such as digital payment.

Chinese payment enterprises promote the latest payment technology in Southeast Asia. In January this year, UnionPay international and mpay, Cambodia’s third-party payment platform, reached an agreement to jointly issue UnionPay’s first contactless prepaid card in Cambodia to provide two-dimensional code payment service. Previously, Chinese enterprises and the industrial and Commercial Bank of Vietnam jointly issued the first local UnionPay card to support the flash payment of “Pai” cards.

Chinese payment enterprises help Southeast Asian partners to improve their digital payment service capabilities by building developer platforms, cloud card issuing platforms, scene service platforms, and e-wallets. Currently, 18 UnionPay standard e-wallets have been launched in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam, covering payment scenarios such as catering, transportation and shopping. Ruan Xing, deputy general manager of vanguard Bank of Vietnam, believes that cooperation with China UnionPay will help the bank expand the geographical scope of international settlement and seize the development opportunity of non cash payment.

Chinese payment enterprises also actively participate in the construction of local payment infrastructure to provide technical standard reference for the local establishment of a national unified and internationally compatible payment system. China UnionPay has supported the Philippines and Thailand to build local bank card transfer network, and UnionPay chip card standard has become the industry recommended standard in Thailand and Myanmar. Chinese enterprises have also participated in the work of the sgqr system working group of Singapore’s national general payment QR code.

Chinese enterprises have also set up joint ventures with the Lao People’s Bank and other institutions to jointly operate the Lao national bank card payment system, providing technical support for the opening of inter-bank transfer, online transaction, mobile payment and other functions. Songsai sipasei, governor of the Lao People’s Bank, said that he hoped to use the advanced technology of Chinese enterprises to improve the service capacity of Laos national payment system, and promote the upgrading of Laos payment industry and the development of local Inclusive Finance.

(Hanoi, January 26)

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