Atlanta based First Data and UnionPay International, an international bankcard company headquartered in Shanghai, have announced that they will partner to expand UnionPay card acceptance in the United States, both with in-store and online purchases. The partnership allows Chinese visitors to use their UnionPay chip credit and debit cards at First Data’s U.S. merchant clients. The implementation will eventually extend to the four million merchant locations that First Data serves across the U.S.
“As the world becomes increasingly borderless, First Data is dedicated to supporting our merchant clients with flexible payment options for their customers, wherever and however they shop,” said Dan Charron, Executive Vice President, Global Business Solutions, First Data. “We are extremely proud to work with an innovative partner like UnionPay International to expand their card acceptance throughout the United States.”
By 2021, it is expected that there will be up to 23 million Chinese visitors in the U.S., a group that on average spends as much as $8,000 per trip. As a result of the commercial agreement between First Data and UnionPay International, U.S. retailers will be able to accept EMV transactions made with UnionPay debit or credit cards.
First Data will also enable UnionPay debit or credit transactions made online or in-app, via a mobile phone or other device. The partnership will initially target a vast array of First Data online retailers within the travel and entertainment industries, including airlines, cruise lines, and entertainment theme parks.
“We are very glad to strengthen our partnership with First Data. We believe this new partnership will not only offer safer payment services to our cardholders visiting the United States, but also lay a solid foundation for the future rollout of UnionPay’s innovative products based on chip cards in the U.S.” said June Chen, General Manager of UnionPay International America.
As part of the agreement, UnionPay debit transactions will be routed through First Data’s least cost debit routing technology, which allows merchants to reduce their overall cost of payment acceptance by routing transactions through the most cost-effective network. First Data acquired the technology via the acquisition of Acculynk, a technology company with innovative debit capabilities, earlier this year. The acquisition expanded First Data’s leading portfolio of global debit solutions to include least cost routing and disburse-to-debit technology.
First Data also recently introduced several other enhancements to its digital commerce solution suite, including a cutting-edge tool called Fraud Detect that leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity expertise to detect potential fraud before it occurs.