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China UnionPay enters Australia's largest banking network Auspost

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MELBOURNE, June 16 (Xinhua) -- China UnionPay and the Australia Post (Auspost) on Monday launched their cooperation for acceptance of bank cards issued by the world's largest card organization, indicating the expansion of the Chinese financial giant into Australia's largest retail and banking network.

With more than 4.2 billion cards in circulation, accepted by over 140 countries and regions, UnionPay offers a widely recognized method of payment for the global merchants.

For Auspost, it has more than 4,400 metropolitan retail outlets and 2,561 retail outlets in rural and remote areas, which is the largest retail and banking network in Australia.

According to Shi Wenchao, managing director of UnionPay, Australia has been a very popular tourism and overseas education destination for Chinese people. The number of Chinese tourists has increased 15 percent annually in the past five years and they have brought great opportunity and challenges to UnionPay's business in the oceanic country. "Our cooperation with Auspost makes Australia the first developed country whose major financial and post institutions both accept UnionPay cards, which will facilitate the business and people's exchange between China and Australia,"he told the launching ceremony.

For the chief of Auspost, Ahmed Fahour, this is his first big financial institution partnership when he became CEO of the national company and he is"very excited about it". "When I came to become CEO of Australian Post, I thought immediately that we needed to grow this company given the size of Chinese population that we have and the visitors we have, we must make it easy and convenient for Chinese and Australians to be able to do business together and Union Pay is a wonderful partnership to enable us to do that,"Fahour told Xinhua. "It's going to help visitors that come from China to Australia, we have nearly 1 million visitors to Australia and if they have a UnionPay card they can come to 3,300 Australian Post Shops to do whatever they need,"he added.

According to a media release by the Auspost, the two companies agreed to issue Australia's first UnionPay multi-currency travel card by the end of the year.

The new UnionPay Load&Go travel card is based on Auspost's highly recognizable and trusted range of Load&Go reloadable cards and is designed to support the significant number of Australians travelling to China for business and leisure.

Australian travellers will be able to load Australian Dollars ( AUD) and Chinese Yuan (CNY) currency to ensure exchange rates are locked in prior to departing Australia and keep track of what they' re spending online.

With the ability to reload and top up funds while away, it provides a simple way for Australians to securely and conveniently access their funds overseas via China's most widely accepted card scheme.

After years of fast expansion, UnionPay has established comprehensive cooperation with all major banks in Australia and the cards can now be used to withdraw cash at almost 60 percent of ATMs and are accepted by 90 percent of the taxis.

The average transaction size processed on UnionPay cards is reported to be greater than any other international card, making it an attractive sales opportunity.

Card holders are also abundant around the globe -- every second new card issued around the world is reported to be a UnionPay card, and in the Asia Pacific the network provides 73 percent of all cards issued.

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