UnionPay, a China-based mobile payments system, announced its North American debut today, launching in Canada. UnionPay is the third largest payment network in the world behind Visa and MasterCard.
The near field communication tech is pretty typical for its kind, operating either with a mobile device or chip-enabled card. The current price cap on micro transactions is 100 Canadian dollars without a signature or PIN.
UnionPay is currently accepted at over 220,000 point of sale (POS) terminals in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia. Restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, supermarkets, and convenience stores are the main types of merchants supporting the payments system in Canada, according to a release.
Asia is the largest source of immigration for Canada, so it makes sense that mobile technology would follow the people using it. It’s likely that the initial launch will serve major metropolitan areas, like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, which already have the infrastructure in place to handle contactless payments.
Over 2 billion UnionPay chip cards have been issued worldwide, and the innovative application based on chip cards is enriching, as per a release.
Now, over 7 million POS terminals around the globe support mobile QuickPass. Australia has the largest number of QuickPass-accepting terminals; and in Macao, UnionPay is the most widely used international payment brand in terms of contactless payment.