China’s UnionPay International (UPI) has formed a partnership with Korea Easy Payment Foundation and BC Card to allow ZeroPay merchants to accept payments via UnionPay QR codes.

ZeroPay is a South Korean mobile payment service provider operated by Korea Easy Payment Foundation.

The mobile wallet service includes a significant number of small and medium-sized merchants across South Korea.

Under the new alliance, UnionPay cardholders paying a visit to South Korea will be able to carry out QR code-based transactions through their UnionPay App with merchants that accept ZeroPay.  

The offering expects to include additional e-wallets supporting UnionPay cards in future.

The new agreement will help UPI improve its presence in South Korea and enable the ZeroPay merchants to offer contactless payment solutions to incoming travellers.

In a statement, UPI said: “In recent years, UnionPay has become a payment brand recognised by the industry, well-known to merchants and popular among consumers in South Korea through its refining acceptance network as well as its growing capabilities to service local customers.

“At present, almost all merchants in the country accept UnionPay cards.

“The constantly optimising card usage environment not only provides a seamless payment experience for visiting UnionPay cardholders, but also attracts an increasing number of local residents to apply for and use UnionPay cards.”

The company further noted that it has already issued more than 50 million cards in South Korea.

Previously, it had collaborated with various entities, including KB Card, Shinhan Card, Hana Card, Nonghyup Bank, Danal and Tmoney to facilitate transactions though local e-wallets.

In April this year, RBC reported that UnionPay was not willing to work with Russian banks over concerns of secondary sanctions.