JCB, the only global payment brand based in Japan, and China UnionPay (UnionPay), China's bankcard association, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on June 10, 2011 to expand their current strategic relationship and to develop potential new areas of cooperation.
The new alliance envisioned by the MOU will emphasize further strategic alliance in various fields and regions building win-win relationship in the long-term, with the aim of providing new value and products to enhance convenience for customers.
The partnership between JCB and UnionPay dates back to 2003, when JCB and UnionPay signed a merchant acquiring agreement which enabled JCB card acceptance in China. In 2006, JCB started facilitating UnionPay card acceptance on JCB's ATM network in Japan, followed by the launch of merchant acquiring operations in Japan last year aiming to increase the level of convenience for UnionPay cardholders.
UnionPay's international expansion is driven by the remarkable economic growth of China, where GDP in 2010 increased 10.3% over the previous year and the country became the second largest economy in the world, while JCB is now actively focusing its global strategy on and beyond Asia. This convergence in the strategy of the two brands strategy led to the new agreement, a milestone in both brands' global expansion.
JCB and UnionPay aim to further expand and enhance card payment business including Asia that has strong potential growth with this new alliance.