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CHINA’S ‘UNIONPAY’ CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED IN FIJI New authorization targets growing Chinese tourist market

By Elenoa Baselala SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 21, 2010) - Chinese nationals can now use China Unionpay cards in the country following its launch yesterday.

President and chief executive of the bank card association Xu Luode said Fiji was the obvious choice behind Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific because of its close trade relations with China.

[PIR editor’s note: China Unionpay – CUP - is the only domestic credit card organization in the People's Republic of China. The card has been operating since 2002 under the People's Bank of China. ]

Mr. Xu said more Chinese tourists were also visiting Fiji and they wanted to make things easier for them by making Union Pay cards acceptable in the country.

A number of merchants are already accepting the cards and the Motibhai Group was acknowledged at the launch as the first through the Prouds Duty Free Stores.

Xu said by the end of the year more merchants should be accepting Union Pay cards.

He said they were also in negotiations with the Bank South Pacific, which would enable Union Pay holders to also withdraw from BSP automated teller machines in the future.

The contract between the two parties is expected to be signed by the end of the year and services available from early next year.

Xu said over time they may launch other products in the country. Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Sada Reddy said Chinese nationals would now be able to buy or spend more in the country now that Union Pay card was accepted in the country.

China Unionpay has about 700 million customers and has issued over 2.3 billion cards. Officials of the bank leave for Tonga today where they are expected to hold a similar launch.

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