Chairman of China UnionPay, Ge Huayong (5th Left), and President of Atabank, Dayanat Guliyev (4th Right), jointly attended the signing ceremony
UnionPay International announced today that it has signed a cooperation agreement with Atabank, the largest acquirer in Azerbaijan. According to the agreement, the Bank will enable all of its ATMs and POS terminals to accept UnionPay cards, expanding the UnionPay acceptance coverage at the local merchants from 25% now to above 50%. Chairman of China UnionPay, Ge Huayong, and President of Atabank, Dayanat Guliyev, jointly attended the signing ceremony.
As an important hub along the Belt and Road in the Eurasian region, Azerbaijan is receiving more and more Chinese enterprises and tourists. Azerbaijan is also enjoying close cooperation and frequent exchanges with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other surrounding markets, where the numbers of UnionPay cards issued are growing rapidly. In this context, UnionPay International is sparing no effort in expanding its acceptance network in Azerbaijan, providing payment convenience for not only Sino-Arab cooperation but also personnel exchanges within the region.
Atabank has the most extensive bankcard acceptance network in Azerbaijan. The cooperation between UnionPay International and the Bank will realize the full acceptance of UnionPay in Atabank’s network. The two sides will also discuss cooperation in local card issuance and mobile payment. Previously, UnionPay International has reached cooperation with the International Bank of Azerbaijan, the largest bank by assets in Azerbaijan, and MilliKart, the second largest information processing center in the country, enabling about 50% of ATMs and 25% of POS terminals in Azerbaijan to accept UnionPay.
Ge Huayong said, with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, UnionPay is carrying out closer business and technical cooperation with the markets concerned, to enhance the level of financial openness and financial cooperation. The cooperation with Atabank will bring about a breakthrough in the local UnionPay business. And we will jointly issue UnionPay cards with the local banks within this year based on solid acceptance network construction, to offer new payment option to the local residents. UnionPay is also willing to share our experience in promoting e-payments in China and is looking forward to in-depth cooperation with institutions in Azerbaijan to jointly enhance the level of digital payments in the country.
Dayanat Guliyev said, I’m glad to see that UnionPay is playing an increasingly important role in the global payment industry. With more and more Chinese tourists and enterprises coming to Azerbaijan, our cooperation with UnionPay International will not only deliver better service to UnionPay cardholders visiting Azerbaijan, but also help local merchants to attract more customers and thus promote economic development.
UnionPay is now present in more than 50 markets along the Belt and Road. In Kazakhstan, UnionPay cards are accepted at 80% ATMs and POS terminals, and this figure will grow to 95% by year-end. Meanwhile, over 1.3 million UnionPay cards are issued in Kazakhstan. In Russia, about 500,000 POS terminals and 90,000 ATMs accept UnionPay cards, and the acceptance coverage will rapidly increase to 80% within the year. In the UAE, UnionPay is accepted at almost all ATMs and POS terminals.