Chinese-owned UnionPay network is making international inroads. This week, Faysal Bank Ltd. launched the first UnionPay debit card program in Pakistan. FBL will be not only the first bank in that country to issue the cards, but also the first in all of South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
UnionPay is a bankcard association established under the approval of the State Council and the People's Bank of China. More than 2.8 billion UnionPay cards are accepted at more than 1.7 million ATMs in more than 125 countries. As part of its deal with UnionPay, FBL has enabled its own network of more than 240 ATMs to accept UnionPay debit cards issued anywhere in the world.
Faysal Bank is among the top 10 banks in Pakistan. With its acquisition of RBS Pakistan, FBL's footprint has expanded to include 260 branches in more than 70 cities, with combined business assets exceeding PKR 290 billion ($3.07 billion).
"I am extremely pleased that Pakistan is the first country in the region to issue UnionPay cards, and Faysal Bank is the first bank in Pakistan to offer UnionPay services to its customers," said President and CEO of Faysal Bank Ltd., Naved A. Khan. "Pakistan and China have a very strong relationship in terms of trade, development and services. I hope this partnership will pave way for other Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan, further strengthening our time-tested friendship."
Larry Wang, president of UnionPay said, "Pakistan and China have been enjoying positive diplomatic relations for over 60 years. This agreement will not only further strengthen those ties, but will also provide better support to the trader community that frequently travels internationally for business purposes, especially to China."
For more on this topic, visit the networking/connectivity research center.