UnionPay virtual cards could be coming to the UK soon.

The Chinese company is planning to collaborate with a UK-based bank to launch branded virtual cards. The cards will be predomintly for UK customers who frequently travel to China.

The company intends to roll out the UnionPay virtual cards for corporate clients in October. These cards will be pre-paid and accessible through a digital wallet.

Mobile payments expansion

The company will further expand the scope and reach of its products and services to local customers in other European markets in December.

UnionPay head in Europe Wei Zhihong said: “We want to target local customers in the domestic market, not only people travelling to Asia.”

UnionPay will not require a licence for expansion into Europe as its cards will be issued by a third party bank. The payment processing for the cards will also be handled by third parties.

The expansion is said to be part of the company’s plan to add more revenue streams. There is fierce competition in its domestic market from mobile payment platforms such as WeChat Pay and Alipay.

UnionPay offers credit, debit, prepaid and commercial cards. The cards are accepted across 170 countries and regions, and issued in 48 countries and regions.

Besides cards, the company also offers online and mobile payment services, IC cards, mPoS and cross-border B2B payment & service.