ANZ announced it will introduce contactless technology to its EFTPOS terminals across Australia and New Zealand to improve the service and security for UnionPay International’s five billion worldwide cardholders.
ANZ is the first bank in Australia and the Pacific region to implement UnionPay’s QuickPass contactless capability. ANZ has more than 90,000 ANZ EFTPOS terminals across Australia. ANZ said that Myer, Harvey Norman and Dreamworld will be amongst the first organizations to offer this functionality
“Every year, more and more Chinese tourists, students and businesspeople travel to Australia, with around 800,000 visiting in 2014. As a super regional bank operating in 34 markets, we recognized that we needed to expand our card payment options to support customers’ cross-border activities,” said ANZ CEO Mike Smith.
ANZ is one of the four major banks in Australia. The overall acceptance of UnionPay cards by ANZ has increased the ATM acceptance coverage of UnionPay cards in Australia from the 70% to 80%. It is expected that all merchants under ANZ will accept UnionPay cards by the end of this year, which means that about 55% of all merchants in Australia will accept UnionPay cards. The overall acceptance of UnionPay cards by ANZ will enable other major banks to accelerate business cooperation with UnionPay.
All the merchants under ANZ signing up to accept UnionPay cards will support UnionPay’s QuickPass service as well. It is the first time that UnionPay QuickPass launches in markets beyond Asia. QuickPass is UnionPay‘s contactless payment feature and works on host card emulation technology.
Mr. Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International (a subsidiary of China UnionPay) said, “We are glad to partner with ANZ, and this cooperation will dramatically expand the UnionPay card acceptance footprint in Australia and New Zealand while in the meantime bringing about breakthroughs in innovative payments.
“As the next step, we will work closely with Australian institutions in promoting the cross-border application of innovative UnionPay products and services in a bid to expand the acceptance of QuickPass, improve card-using services and provide UnionPay cardholders with payment experiences that are both secure and convenient,” said Mr Cai.
ANZ said that the feature will be deployed to New Zealand by the end of 2015, while mag-stripe and EMV-compliant acceptance will be introduced to ANZ's EFTPOS terminals and ATMs across 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific region starting from early 2016.
At present, the UnionPay card acceptance network covers over 150 countries and regions. UnionPay cards are accepted at over 26 million merchants and 1.8 million ATMs across the world. Previously, UnionPay International had promoted QuickPass in Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan and other mature UnionPay card markets.
QuickPass allows cardholders to pay with a simple tap-and-go without a complicated payment process. In Australia, although UnionPay credit cardholders can transact by simply waving the cards instead of a signature or a PIN, it is necessary for UnionPay debit cards to enter a password on QuickPass for security. Compared with payments by QR code scanning, QuickPass is more secure and convenient, and is not subject to Wi-Fi networks or international roaming flow restrictions.
Globally, UnionPay is not an international payment card company but has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Overseas transactions account for only about 2 to 3% of its overall transactions. The company began expanding since 2004 and aims to compete with global bank card companies.
It looks like UnionPay's QuickPass is trying to replicate the success of MasterCard’s MasterPass, a similar contactless payment feature which is growing rapidly across the Asia-Pacific region.