China’s UnionPay has inked a deal with BPS-Sberbank of the Republic of Belarus. Under terms of the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in improving UnionPay’s acceptance network in Belarus, promoting local card issuance, and rolling out UnionPay’s innovative products and services, and thus jointly enhance UnionPay’s service capacity in markets along the Belt and Road.
In recent years, UnionPay International is expanding its business in markets along the Belt and Road. Now, UnionPay cards are accepted in about 50 out of the over 60 countries and regions concerned. Belarus is a significant country along the “Silk Road Economic Belt”. The personnel exchange and the cooperation in trade and infrastructure construction between Belarus and China are increasing. Since 2011, GazpromBank has enabled its ATMs and merchants to accept UnionPay cards. And the new cooperation makes BPS-Sberbank the second bank in Belarus to accept UnionPay.
BPS-Sberbank is one of the largest commercial banks in Belarus. With more than 10,000 POS terminals and over 600 ATMs, it has extensive acceptance network and high-quality merchants. UnionPay International has agreed with BPS-Sberbank to: firstly, realize the acceptance and issuance of UnionPay cards within this year; secondly, carry out campaigns to let more local residents know about and use UnionPay cards; thirdly, explore the opportunity of launching contactless payment, mobile payment and other innovative products and services of UnionPay in Belarus.
Belarus is located in the hinterland of Europe, and is a significant strategic fulcrum of the Belt and Road. This cooperation will substantially expand UnionPay’s merchant and ATM acceptance coverage. Meanwhile, BPS-Sberbank is expected to be the first bank to issue UnionPay cards locally, which will act as a good example to more institutions. The two sides will jointly improve financial services in markets along the Belt and Road, and support the personnel exchange between China and the region.
Currently, UnionPay cards are accepted in 39 European countries and regions, among which the majority of 16 countries in the Central and Eastern Europe have accepted UnionPay. In Belarus, merchants with UnionPay logo accept UnionPay cards and some ATMs of GazpromBank support UnionPay cards for cash withdrawal. UnionPay’s acceptance network covers the local airports, shopping centers, duty-free stores that are most frequented by tourists.