Pan-African integrated payments firm Interswitch Transnational has integrated its payment system with UnionPay International enabling UnionPay cardholders from all over the world to use their cards at more than 70,000 merchants to make payments and withdraw cash from more than 11,000 ATMs across Interswitch partner banks in Nigeria, Uganda and very soon in Gambia.
The agreement marks the start of a strategic partnership between Interswitch and UnionPay and opens an electronic payments corridor linking Nigeria and China.
According to Mr. Akeem Lawal, Managing Director, Interswitch Switching and Processing,“We are delighted to welcome UnionPay cards to the Interswitch network. The agreement is an important step for Interswitch and brings us one step closer to offering our service to cardholders from all of the major card brands.”
The agreement opens a new vista electronic payments between Nigeria and China so that visitors from China using UnionPay cards can access their money in Nigeria with ease as if they were in China.
Mr. Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Interswitch Transnational added,” Nigerian banks will benefit from increased transactions from UnionPay cardholders using their ATMs and POS infrastructure while merchants will benefit from increased sales from a larger pool of cardholders.”
Though we have no figures on the amount of trade Africa is controlling , Time.com says that just in the last decade trade between China and Africa was over $106 billion and though the Chinese are transforming the continent through infrastructure and mining, it’s harvest might be more than the continent is getting but to Africans some development is better than none. The deal between Interswitch and Union Pay just shows the need to make this trade even more efficient.
Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International, said, “More and more UnionPay cardholders are visiting Africa for business and pleasure. To meet this growing demand we have been working closely with local partners to increase acceptance of UnionPay cards across the continent. To date, UnionPay cards can be used in more than 40 countries and regions in Africa, and provide a convenient and safe payment service to cardholders and merchants.
“UnionPay International’s partnership with Interswitch enables both businesses to better pursue their pan-African growth plans and for UnionPay to continue to grow acceptance footprint.”