UnionPay International has inked a cooperation agreement with Azerbaijan-based lender Atabank to accept UnionPay cards in the country.

Under the agreement, Atabank will enable all of its ATMs and POS terminals to accept UnionPay cards. The collaboration will expand the UnionPay acceptance coverage at the local merchants from 25% now to more than 50%.

Both partners have also agreed to further discuss cooperation in local card issuance and mobile payment.

China UnionPay chairman Ge Huayong said: “The cooperation with Atabank will bring about a breakthrough in the local UnionPay business. And we will jointly issue UnionPay cards with the local banks within this year based on solid acceptance network construction, to offer new payment option to the local residents.

“UnionPay is also willing to share our experience in promoting e-payments in China and is looking forward to in-depth cooperation with institutions in Azerbaijan to jointly enhance the level of digital payments in the country.”

Atabank president Dayanat Guliyev said: “With more and more Chinese tourists and enterprises coming to Azerbaijan, our cooperation with UnionPay International will not only deliver better service to UnionPay cardholders visiting Azerbaijan, but also help local merchants to attract more customers and thus promote economic development.”