Payments firm Moorwand has signed an agreement to issue UnionPay International’s prepaid corporate and consumer cards in the UK and across the European Economic Area (EEA).

The British payment firm cards will issue UnionPay cards through the UPayCard branded prepaid card solution. UPayCard is a multi-currency service intended for both businesses and consumers.

A soft launch of the UnionPay prepaid cards has already been carried out for a certain cohort of UPayCard account holders. The partners will initiate the larger roll out in the first quarter of this year.

UnionPay International market director and head of European branch Wei Zhihong said: “This is a significant step for UnionPay through the issuance of the first pre-paid cards with a UK financial partner.

“In the future, UnionPay’s business development in Europe will be based on continuing to drive wider card acceptance with our merchant partners while also developing a larger user base to issue cards.”

UnionPay prepaid cards target customers travelling to China. They come with an optional dual currency feature for user’s local currency and Chinese currency.

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The cards will enable companies to transfer funds to expats or travelling staff in China.

Moorwand CEO Robert Courtneidge said: “Both businesses and individuals will be able to enjoy the convenience and security through purchasing with a UnionPay branded pre-paid card.

“We are looking forward to building a long successful partnership with UnionPay, and playing a major role in helping to grow their presence even further in Europe.”