China UnionPay, the largest payment system in the world, hits the European market

China UnionPay, a Chinese payment system which is the largest credit card issuer in the world, is preparing for issuing their cards in Great Britain. As a British newspaper Financial Times reports, it can be the first step of the Chinese company’s expansion into Europe and of spurring the competition with Visa and MasterCard. In October, UnionPay will issue virtual pre-paid cards for corporate clients, which the employees working for British companies will be able to use when travelling to Asia. In December, the company is going to start issuing cards in other European countries. “Our target audience in Europe is local clients operating in their home market, and not only those people who travel to Asia,” Zhihong Wei, UnionPay Europe CEO, said. Mr Wei explained that the company does not need a license to operate in Europe, because the cards will be issued by local banks, and the transactions related to them will be carried out through the companies that process payments.

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