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May 4, 2018updated 07 Apr 2022 4:00am

UnionPay boosts card acceptance in Kuwait

UnionPay International has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with The Shared Electronic Banking Service Company (KNET), a payment switches processor, to expand the acceptance and issuance of its card in Kuwait.

The firms previously signed a joint cooperation deal in 2015 to connect their respective switches in order to provide UnionPay with a fast entry into the country’s market.

While UnionPay extended its services to local banks, the agreement is said to have benefitted KNET by enabling launch of UnionPay Card scheme to drive healthy competition and offer new consumer services.

Currently, UnionPay Cards are accepted at approximately 45% of ATMs in the country and the latest agreement is set to bolster the partnership between the two companies.

Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, KNET’s POS switch system will be linked to the local commercial banks and additional POS acquirers.

As the system has already been upgraded according to the UnionPay standards, the move is expected to enhance its POS acceptance.

In addition, UnionPay contactless payment solutions such as IC card QuickPass will be accepted at these POS terminals, thus boosting the company’s card acceptance.

The partners further plan to open a centralised settlement hub to serve financial institutions in and around the country for processing UPI acquiring and issuing transactions for the local banks.

UnionPay International CEO Cai Jianbo said: “On the one hand, we leverage on the market influence of the local networks to expand UnionPay’s business.

“On the other, we jointly improve the switch and settlement system of UnionPay cards in these markets to offer technical supports to the local institutions and merchants so that they can accept and issue UnionPay cards with greater ease.

“I believe this collaboration with KNET will drive the comprehensive development of UnionPay business in acceptance, issuance and mobile payments.”

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