UnionPay International has entered into a strategic alliance with payment services provider ACI Worldwide for global expansion of its card acceptance and issuance.

The partners plan to sign on several merchants across finance, aviation, hotels, e-commerce, retail and supermarket sectors to to accept transactions using UnionPay Online Payment (UPOP).

Initially, ACI will adopt UnionPay cards and the UPOP solutions into its payment service, which caters to 5,100 organisations, making them available to numerous e-merchants.

In the future, the companies intend to co-promote other UnionPay services such as UnionPay QR code and in-app payments, and cross-border marketing platform U Plan, among others.

UnionPay International CEO Cai Jianbo said: “This cooperation is of great significance: Previously, we need to push our partner institutions and retailers one by one to modify their systems in order to roll out UnionPay payment services.

“Now, with the technological strength of ACI, we are able to respond faster to the needs of our partners, which will substantially enhance the efficiency of our business expansion.”

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UnionPay card acceptance network currently spans 168 international markets, and the cards are accepted by more than 10 million e-merchants across more than 200 countries and regions.

ACI Worldwide group president Dan Frate said: “UnionPay’s growth opportunity is considerable, with Chinese consumers now making more than 80 million trips outside of Greater China annually, with this number expected to increase substantially.

“Supported by our reach and our strong customer base of merchants and financial institutions, UnionPay can serve the needs and payment preferences of these consumers.”