B-PESA lands China’s UnionPay deal

B-PESA has inked deals with UnionPay, a move that gives the newly introduced prepaid bank loop card a wider operating territory outside Tanzania, covering 1.6 million ATMs and over 12 million merchants in 142 countries.

Apart from UnionPay, many Tanzania based banks have expressed interest in partnering with Smart Banking Solutions (SBS) - the company that introduced the B-PESA card - to start issuing the cards to their customers, with most of these bank executives promising to issue the cards to their customers soon.

This development comes barely few days after B-PESA was launched in Tanzania to create an ideal payment Eco-system for the banks and consumers of Tanzania and Africa.

Speaking during the signing ceremony held in Dar es Salaam recently, Chief Representative of Africa, Middle East of Union pay International, Li Zhixian, said his organisation was happy to partner with B-PESA because both products aims at facilitating payment services in the markets where they operate.

“Having seen attributes of B-PESA, I believe the product will be able to change the landscape of Tanzania payment industry and significantly improve the payment infrastructure of this country.

“As an emerging international payment scheme, UnionPay is always committed to facilitate payment services in each country. This idea is in coincidence with B-PESA. UnionPay and SBS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today (yesterday) to explore how we can join forces and add the power of an international payment scheme to B-PESA,” he said.

He mentioned that the deal signed would give B-PESA holders an advantage of transacting both locally and internationally in all B-PESA or UnionPay stations located in over 140 countries.

Mr Li further said: “We would like to invite your banks to join this programme to issue UnionPay- B-PESA co-branded cards. Your customers will enjoy when using B-PESA cards locally and with Union Pay your service can be delivered to over 140 countries,” he said.

Mr Li said the idea of partnering with B-PESA was also prompted by the need to use these two payment schemes to help trading between China and Africa.

According to trade records, China is the largest trading partner of Tanzania and the second largest investor. The bilateral trade in 2012 was $2.47 billion, an increase of 15.2 per cent. China is the first procurement choice of Tanzania businessmen.

“Tanzania businessmen are eager to have a good payment solution for their business and travel to China, which we are preparing. UnionPay has 100 per cent network coverage in China, thus giving B-PESA customers an advantage over the rest,” said Mr Li.

Speaking during the same occasion, SBS Managing Director, Mr Gustav Vermaas said the partnership adds value to the uniqueness of this card, in the sense that B-PESA customers will be champions in transforming Tanzania and Africa into a cash-lite society.

“UnionPay has an extensive international coverage, while SBS knows African local circumstance very well; SBS would like to create an ideal payment Eco system for the banks and consumers of Tanzania and Africa and this is why we partner with UnionPay go give B-PESA customers an international reach,” he said.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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