UnionPay International has reached an agreement with Australian banking major Westpac to launch its offline card acceptance business in New Zealand.

Following the agreement, the bank has equipped enabled nearly 5,000 of its offline merchants to accept UnionPay cards.

By the end of 2018, the bank intends to enable additional 15,000 merchants. Some of these merchants will also accept UnionPay Mobile QuickPass that supports payment with smartphones, wearable devices and UnionPay chip cards.

The latest agreement is expected to expand UnionPay’s merchant acceptance coverage in New Zealand to 60%. Earlier, Westpac enabled all of its ATMs and nearly 1300 online merchants in New Zealand to accept UnionPay cards.

Commenting on the agreement, China UnionPay chairman Ge Huayong said: “UnionPay is deepening its cooperation with the major institutions in South Pacific to improve its online and offline acceptance network as well as promoting UnionPay Mobile QuickPass in New Zealand, to enhance cardholders’ payment experiences.

“Next, UnionPay will also seek opportunities to issue cards with local institutions to bring new payment options to New Zealand customers.