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FNB to accept UnionPay contactless cards at merchants

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 22 Jun 2020

First National Bank (FNB) has collaborated with UnionPay International (UPI), to provide UnionPay cardholders with a contactless payments option when purchasing goods at South African merchants.

As the struggle against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, UPI says it has unveiled a plan for increased consumer safety through accelerating the issuance of contactless payment-enabled cards to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, through its collaboration with banks around the world.

FNB says it is the first bank in SA to accept contactless transactions made with UnionPay cards, providing customers with a safer and smoother payment experience.

UnionPay’s Mobile QuickPass service incorporates offline contactless and QR code payment as well as online in-app payments to enable local card-holders to make payments via FNB Speedpoint terminals at South African merchants.

“FNB has a diverse contactless payments ecosystem from a card acceptance and payments perspective,” says Thokozani Dlamini, FNB Merchant Services CEO.

“We have seen significant growth in the acceptance of contactless card payments, as more consumers adopt safer payment and shopping habits. Adding UnionPay to our platform will certainly elevate this trend.”

Demand for online and contactless payments has been surging globally, since governments instituted drastic lockdown measures across industries, to contain the pandemic.

According to research conducted by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, contactless adoption will increase by 6% to 8% globally when compared to pre-COVID-19 expectations. One of the main reasons is that contactless card payments require a lot less contact with point of sale devices (tap-and-go), thereby minimising exposure to the virus.

Luping Zhang, GM at UnionPay International Africa, says: “We encourage UnionPay cardholders to use contactless payments, especially during this challenging time. We at UnionPay take as our responsibility to ensure safe, simple and smooth payment experience to our cardholders to minimise the impact of the pandemic on their daily life.”

UPI makes it easy for its cardholders to make payments at terminals across the globe using one card.

UnionPay cards are widely accepted in SA in all sectors, meeting the diverse purchasing needs of UnionPay card-holders living and visiting SA.

The global payments provider says in recent years, it has expanded its acceptance network to 178 countries and regions, and more than 8.4 billion UnionPay cards issued in 61 countries and regions.

In Africa, UnionPay cards have been issued in over 10 African countries, including SA, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Ghana and Kenya.