(Yicai Global) April 25 -- China UnionPay Co. unit UnionPay International Co. signed a cooperative agreement April 23 with Telered SA, Panama’s largest electronic payment network, in a collaboration that will see all automatic teller machines in Panama accepting its cards, China UnionPay announced yesterday.
The two have also agreed to equip all Telered’s point of sale terminals to accept UnionPay cards and will collaborate with its member banks to issue them.
Panama is a world-renowned shipping and offshore financial center. Economic, trade and personnel exchanges between China and the Central American nation have been on the rise since the two countries established formal diplomatic relations last year. UnionPay International has expanded its business presence in the country in response to this trend and issued its first prepaid card in tandem with domestic banks in January. Some local retailers started to accept UnionPay QR code payment services in March, marking the debut of UnionPay mobile payment in the Americas.
UnionPay is very pleased to further develop strategic partnerships with Telered in network development, technological exchanges, and card issuance to offer new payment options to locals and develop the local remittance industry, said Ge Huayong, chairman of China UnionPay.
Telered's Clave is the only ATM network in Panama, and its debit card claims over 95 percent of market share. The parties have agreed that about 30,000 POS terminals in Telered’s network will gradually start taking UnionPay cards. The pair will also team with Telered member banks to issue domestic UnionPay and Clave cards, thus allowing holders of the latter to pay via UnionPay's global network.
Some 14 countries and regions in Latin America now accept UnionPay in emerging tourist destinations such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Suriname in tourist attractions, shopping malls, duty-free shops and restaurants.
Almost all ATMs and POS terminals in Cuba take UnionPay cards, which can also withdraw cash from nearly 90 percent of Mexican bank machines. Suriname and Antigua also issue their own UnionPay cards.
Editor: Ben Armour