UPI Optimizes Experience for Cross-Border Business Travelers as Global Tourism Rebounds

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 19 September 2022

UnionPay is bringing a brand-new user experience by enriching use cases and payment options, especially for business travelers when they make cross-border payments.

UnionPay International (UPI) has been continuously strengthening its service capabilities. As businesspeople get back in the air, UnionPay is bringing a brand-new user experience by enriching use cases and payment options, especially for business travelers when they make cross-border payments.

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), global business travel spending is expected to increase by more than 37% in 2022, as many countries gradually relax their international travel restrictions.  

Industry surveys show that the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the adoption of electronic payment worldwide. Against this backdrop, UPI has expedited the development of its acceptance network which has extended to 181 countries and regions so far.

For in-store spending, almost all merchants in the Chinese mainland support UnionPay cards, while the acceptance coverage in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America has respectively reached 90%, 80% and 75%. UPI has enhanced payment experience in top business travel destinations such as Hong Kong and Macao SAR, as well as Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Europe.

UnionPay’s mobile payment acceptance has grown rapidly, with more than 25 million merchants worldwide. For online payment, UPI has increased the number of its e-commerce merchants to 22 million and expanded the availability of contact-free payment services, reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in payment.

As an international payment brand favored by business travelers, UPI has improved the payment experience in business travel and introduced value-added services and benefits to facilitate cross-border business travel and help to boost economic and trade recovery.

In collaboration with industry players including booking platforms, hotel groups, international airlines, UPI provides distinctive payment service to support work trips. For instance, UnionPay payment has been enabled for leading online travel agencies (OTA), top ten hotel groups including Marriott, over 80 major airlines worldwide, and well-known ride-hailing apps. In the first half of 2022, airlines and OTAs have seen a significant increase of more than 80% in the UnionPay transaction volume.

With continued improvement in use cases and global interoperability, UnionPay payment products have proved popular among international business travelers. More than 190 million UnionPay cards have been issued in over 70 countries and regions outside the Chinese mainland, generating an increase of 30% in cross-border transaction volume in the first half of this year.

Besides, UPI has launched over 140 mobile payment products that support the enrollment of UnionPay cards in 30 countries and regions. Available in the offering are the UnionPay App, QR code wallets, and OEM pay products, having gained popularity for meeting consumers’ differentiated payment habits, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. For instance, one in four people in Hong Kong & Macao SAR uses UnionPay mobile payment. Regional e-wallets such as PayLah! in Singapore and Boost in Malaysia have also been enabled for the UnionPay network.

UPI has recently delivered its strength in pooling resources and joined hands with local financial institutions and renowned merchants to launch promotions in 17 countries and regions, including Hong Kong & Macao SAR, the UK and Japan. The offers come in forms including threshold discounts (up to 50% off) and gift vouchers, available at many prominent merchants such as Galeries Lafayette and Fidenza Village. For each payment made with a UnionPay cross-border cashback card, the cardholders can enjoy additional cashback on top of the merchant offers.