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UnionPay boosts Nordic acceptance through Worldline deal

Source: Worldline

Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry and UnionPay, the payment organisation with the world’s largest cardholder base, are pleased to announce a new agreement that will significantly expand UnionPay’s acceptance scope in the Nordic region.

The strategic agreement between UnionPay International and Worldline, will cater to the needs of Chinese visitors to the region as well as the increasing number of European UnionPay cardholders. The agreement will enable UnionPay card acceptance at some 20,000 in-store merchants across the Nordics via Worldline’s affiliate previously known under the name Bambora.

Worldline is already one of the largest UnionPay acquirers in Europe, and the Nordics constitutes the next step in its strategy to further expand UnionPay card acceptance into new markets. In the DACH countries UnionPay merchant acceptance already exceeds 50%, rising to 90% in sectors such as luxury retail and almost 100% in tourist regions.

In recent years, the Nordic countries have become an increasingly popular travel destination for Chinese tourists and this trend is expected to continue following the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of Chinese visitors to the region in 2017 set to double by 2024, contributing an estimated US$ 1.6 billion. After cross-border travel recovers, Chinese consumers will be able to use their UnionPay card or mobile phone to pay at POS terminals by contactless and complete the payment swiftly and securely.

Helsinki is a hub for direct flights to and from mainland China and flights are also available to and from Stockholm and Copenhagen. To ensure a smooth end-to-end customer experience Worldline and UnionPay will focus on providing a familiar, simple and fast check-out process for Chinese cardholders and European UnionPay cardholders visiting the Nordic countries. With approx. 200,000 merchants in the Nordics, there is significant scope to introduce new e-commerce solutions in the near future.

“As the recovery from the repercussions of Covid-19 gathers pace, Chinese visitors will play a crucial role in revitalising the European tourism sector in Europe. Worldline is pleased to strengthen its long-lasting strategic partnership with UnionPay. By leveraging our relationship with the Nordic merchant community via Bambora, we are ideally placed to significantly boost UnionPay acceptance across the entire Nordic region”, said Daniel Nordholm CEO of Nordics and Head of Worldline’s Merchant Services division for Regional Businesses.

“Maintaining and developing long-term relationships are a significant success factor for UnionPay. Worldline has been our trusted partner in Europe for many years, and we look forward to taking the next step together to plan to build global coverage to better support our UPI issuing business”, said Han Wang, Deputy Head of Europe at UnionPay International.  

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