UnionPay International is set to expand its portfolio of card products in Africa by launching the Travel Mate Asia card.

The company has collaborated with the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) to commence the roll out of the cards in Madagascar. The partners are expected to jointly issue 50,000 cards within one year.

The new offering is targeted at local customers who frequently travel between China and Africa.

The cards can be used at the UnionPay acceptance network in 170 countries and will also provide various benefits at 20 Asian tourist destinations.

SBM previously issued UnionPay cards in Mauritius. The bank also enabled all of its merchants and ATMs to accept the cards.

Furthermore, UnionPay and SBM intend to introduce Asia Prestige credit cards for HNW customers and credit card products for small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.

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China UnionPay chairman Ge Huayong said: “The issuance of the UnionPay Travel Mate Asia Card in Madagascar on the one hand will offer new cross-border payment option to the local customers, especially those who travel to Asia; on the other hand, it will enhance UnionPay’s service capability for particular customer groups, accelerate the localisation of UnionPay in Africa.”

SBM chairman Kee Chong Li said: “The issuance of this new card will provide more payment ease for the Madagascar customers visiting Asia.

“Moreover, China has the world’s leading mobile payment technology, and SBM is willing to deeper collaboration with UnionPay in innovative payment, so as to offer more payment options to the African people.”

UnionPay has expanded its network in various other African countries. In Angola, the company partnered with EMIS for enabling all local ATMs to accept its cards.

In Uganda, UnionPay is set to collaborate with the National Bank of Uganda for issuing 400,000 of its debit cards over the coming three years.

In addition, Uganda Oriental Bank has recently enabled all its ATMs and PoS terminals to accept UnionPay cards.