Mobile payment apps—or digital wallets—are an integral part of everyday life in China, and they’re impossible to ignore if you want to succeed in the Chinese consumer market. As a business, you know you can attract more Chinese customers by accepting leading mobile solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay. But what about UnionPay? In this post, we provide an overview of China’s newest player in the online payment market, and of its UnionPay QR Code solution, and how you can benefit from it.

What is UnionPay?

UnionPay International, also known as China UnionPay or CUP, is the world’s third largest card payment organisation—debit and credit cards combined—after Visa and Mastercard. Because CUP started as a credit/debit card provider, it has a substantial base of long-time clients. Anyone with a bank account in China is a CUP customer. UnionPay also works in collaboration with 165 Chinese banks, and issues over 5 billion cards a year.

What is UnionPay QR code and how does it work?

UnionPay QR code is a mobile payment solution—in the UnionPay App—allowing Chinese customers to scan and pay for goods and services with their smartphone. It can we used at any business, in China or abroad, accepting this payment method. UnionPay QR code also connects users to major Chinese commercial banks, and works on all mobile devices and web browsers. Launched in December 2017, the UnionPay App surpassed 150 million users in April 2019—less than 1.5 years after joining China’s competitive mobile payment market.

Why should my business accept it?

There are advantages in accepting UnionPay QR code in addition to Alipay and WeChat Pay:

  • Although Alipay and WeChat let you reach close to 90% of online Chinese customers—through their large active user base and pool of potential shoppers—the UnionPay QR code solution is your gateway to Chinese bank account and card holders, as the UnionPay App serves as the unified payment portal of China’s banking industry.
  • UnionPay QR code is available in 31 countries outside China, and supports almost all foreign currencies, something competitors Alipay and WeChat Pay struggle with because of Chinese legislation. Chinese customers using UnionPay QR code while travelling abroad also benefit from the lack of currency conversion fees and better exchange rates, making their shopping experience easier. As a business targeting Chinese new immigrants, students, and tourists, you should accept it.
  • UnionPay’s full coverage in financial institutions, POS devices and ATMs is another reason why the UnionPay App—and UnionPay QR code payment solution—have enjoyed fast development in China and overseas.

Chinese consumers represent a substantial market in Canada, and your business needs to welcome their preferred online payment methods if it wants to succeed on the Chinese consumer market.

As the authorized partner of Alipay and WeChat Pay in Canada—and the official payment service and marketing partner of UnionPay International since August 2019—OTT Pay can help your integrate the UnionPay QR code solution to your current mobile payment offering, enabling your business to cover 100% of the Chinese online consumer segment. Give us a call at (+1) 800-688-9838 or email us at