Wirecard and UnionPay, the world’s largest card scheme, sign MoU to form expanded global strategic partnership

Partnership aims to support Wirecard’s growth in China

Iris Stoeckl
Financial media and investor relations inquiries
Iris Stoeckl

VP Corporate Communications / IR

Sep 16, 2019

  • UnionPay leads the global card scheme market, having issued 57.6% of the world’s payment cards in circulation
  • Scope includes expanding global acceptance of UnionPay and developing joint digital payment solutions

Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, has signed an MoU with UnionPay, the world’s largest card scheme, to form a global strategic partnership. The agreement will support UnionPay’s ongoing international expansion and Wirecard’s growth in China and with Chinese businesses.

With over 7.59 billion cards issued under its brand, amounting to 57.6% of the world’s payment cards in circulation according to the Nilson Report, UnionPay leads the global card scheme market, and is an association for China’s banking card industry. The cooperation between Wirecard and UnionPay will focus on expanding the global acceptance of UnionPay as a digital payment method across all channels. In addition, the partnership will also launch a number of issuing projects, including corporate solutions such as payout products and SCP (Supplier and Commission Payments), and consumer-oriented products in the form of digital wallets for incoming tourists to China.

“As the world’s largest card scheme in terms of card issuance, UnionPay will be one of our key alliances in Asia,” commented Georg von Waldenfels, EVP Group Business Development at Wirecard. “We’re excited about the immense potential this partnership creates for both entities, and to deliver innovative solutions for current and future UnionPay cardholders globally. As a major tourist and business destination, China receives hundreds of millions of travelers every year, which means that the scope of our solutions will also address non-Chinese nationals and enable them to pay with UnionPay nationwide.”

“Through our global strategic partnership with Wirecard, we plan to continue driving our international expansion forward,” added Larry Wang, Vice President at UnionPay International. “We are proud to have an experienced partner in digital financial technology and global payments by our side to provide an even wider range of innovative solutions for UnionPay customers. We look forward to launching our partnership with Wirecard.”

The initial stage of the partnership will focus on launching additional projects in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, where both partners already work together for several years. Especially point of sale and issuing solutions will merge with the existing online payment business. Additionally, a consumer solution for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is being planned to take advantage of the large number of tourists who will visit the country.