Interac, Canada's national debit network, and China Unionpay, China's national bank card payment network, have launched a new service that will give China Unionpay cardholders travelling in Canada the ability to withdraw cash from ABMs of participating acquirers in Canada.
The agreement with China Unionpay builds on international expansion of the INTERAC network, which already has agreements in place with two U.S. debit networks.
"China Unionpay is another milestone in our efforts to expand our payment services internationally," said Mark O'Connell, President and CEO, Acxsys Corporation and Interac Association. "With approximately 250 associate members, 1.9 billion China Unionpay cards, and acceptance in 67 other countries and regions, China Unionpay has extensive reach and opens up a wealth of opportunity for INTERAC."
The agreement with China Unionpay is expected to drive incremental ABM volumes for Canadian acquirers, by providing access to a growing cardholder base. In fact, according to the World Tourism Organization, China will become one of the top three outbound tourism markets in the world by 2010.
"We appreciate INTERAC's efforts to enable China Unionpay cards at ABMs in Canada," said Luode XU, President and CEO, China Unionpay. "China Unionpay will further strengthen the global cooperation to make China Unionpay cards a world-class bank card brand. It will not only provide Chinese, but also foreigners, with better, safer and more efficient payment service."
China Unionpay and INTERAC networks will connect through a Gateway, eliminating network setup and significantly reducing development costs for Canadian acquirers.
Access to the service is available to all Canadian acquirers interested in evolving their ABM service offerings. Currently the service is being offered at ABMs across Canada operated by CIBC and Open Solutions. ABMs that offer the service will feature the China Unionpay logo.