PayPal and UnionPay International (UPI) said Wednesday (Jan. 22) that they have struck a global partnership to grow their networks and accelerate the adoption of digital payments — especially in cross-border commerce.
In an announcement, the firms said PayPal is committed to supporting UnionPay acceptance globally, across an installed base of 24 million merchants where PayPal is accepted via the PayPal wallet.
UnionPay cards, according to the announcement, can now be added to PayPal wallets in Australia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
During 2020, PayPal and UPI plan to add more than 30 markets.
Also as part of the agreement, UPI will “explore opportunities to support PayPal’s merchant and consumer ambitions in China.” Efforts will include the opportunity for PayPal customers from around the world to use PayPal at merchants where UnionPay is accepted.
PayPal, of course, is cementing its presence in China by becoming the first foreign payment platform to offer online payments within China, having acquired a 70 percent stake in China’s GoPay. And as noted in this space last month, Frost & Sullivan predicts the mobile market will see extensive growth, hitting $96.7 trillion in 2023. It was $29.93 trillion in 2017. Cross-border transactions reached $6.7 trillion in 2016 and are expected to grow significantly in verticals like eCommerce, travel and overseas education.
The agreement between PayPal and UPI represents an evolution of the post-GoPay acquisition strategy (and where Chinese shoppers can link their accounts to use PayPal). “The partnership will give UnionPay customers more choice when shopping cross border and has the ability to contribute to the overall growth of China’s e-commerce ecosystem,” PayPal Senior Vice president of Global Payments Jim Magats said in the release detailing the agreement. “It will also give PayPal the opportunity to explore the option to expand PayPal’s digital wallet to physical retail locations where UnionPay is accepted in China, or internationally.”
There are as many as 130 million UnionPay cards issued outside of mainland China.
In terms of marketing, the firms have committed to creating joint customer awareness campaigns to “Pay with UnionPay” at PayPal merchants across the globe.