UnionPay SecurePlus Opens the World to U.S. Businesses

February 18, 2021
Average Read Time: 4 minutes

How would you like to gain access to more than 9 billion buyers and $14 trillion in spending with one quick activation?

Does that sound too good to be true?

Well, it’s not. Coming soon to MerchantE is UnionPay SecurePlus powered by Payscout. This relationship – exclusive to MerchantE at launch in the United States – offers reliable and secure credit and debit card transactions online for millions of businesses and billions of cardholders globally.

That means admission into an enormous market, one that may be untapped by many businesses today, to their detriment. This year, China’s digital transformation will take a leap forward, emarketer.com predicts. The digital marketing researcher forecasts that 52.1% of the country’s retail sales will come from ecommerce in 2021, up from 44.8% the prior year. For the first time, a majority of retail sales for an entire country will transact online, emarketer.com says.

Clearly, Chinese citizens want to do business online. Signing up for UnionPay SecurePlus and accepting digital payments from China and other global markets opens up a far wider world of commerce for U.S. businesses. Here’s more on UnionPay SecurePlus and why choosing the right processing relationship can help you tap into the potential of this massive market.

UnionPay in a Nutshell

UnionPay is China’s sole bankcard association and the largest issuer of payment cards in the world. It was established in 2002, and since then has issued more than 9 billion debit and credit cards, a greater number than Visa and Mastercard combined. While the primary market is mainland China, the company also has issued more than 145 million cards outside the country.

UnionPay allows Chinese customers to pay with a trusted and familiar card brand, no matter where they are. UnionPay cards are accepted in 179 countries and regions and by some 87 million businesses worldwide – 32 million outside China.

In addition, UnionPay SecurePlus offers a low friction two-factor authentication that reduces online payment fraud and clears previous obstacles to approvals for UnionPay transactions that tend to be higher-than-average value purchases. Using UnionPay SecurePlus has been shown to increase approval rates from 30% to 90%.

The Issue: Too Many Declines

For billions of Chinese consumers, UnionPay is the only payment card they use, and more than three-quarters are debit cards. However, UnionPay debit cards can only be used in the UnionPay network and other networks that have signed contracts with UnionPay – such as Payscout, a principal member of the UnionPay network.

So, that means UnionPay debit card transactions often are declined, which also means businesses have a harder time gaining their share of the $14.3 trillion in sales UnionPay cardholders transact each year.

It also impacts cardholders who aren’t able to complete large or critical transactions. Those that can be affected include:

  • Parents whose children are being educated in the U.S. UnionPay’s Study Abroad Service covers the 5,000+ educational institutions frequented by Chinese students, and parents want to use this service to pay for tuition with their UnionPay cards.
  • People purchasing luxury goods either online globally or in the U.S. They need safe transactions and consistent approval for more expensive purchases.
  • Anyone embracing U.S. culture through online purchases of mainstream goods such as clothes or music or planning travel here (after the pandemic allows, of course). Chinese tourists use UnionPay cards to book transportation, hotels, and activities. Online English lessons for Chinese students also are common. 

The Solution: UnionPay SecurePlus

Signing up for UnionPay SecurePlus through MerchantE will offer many advantages to businesses:

  • The ability to accept debit and credit cards online from Chinese residents in the U.S. or from 179 countries around the world.
  • Acceptance of both credit and debit cards without any redirect, improving the customer experience and increasing completed transactions.
  • Tokenization for two-step authorization, improving card security.
  • An SMS authentication code for all debit card transactions, reducing fraud risks and limiting chargebacks, too.
  • Instant onboarding.
  • Faster settlement – two days versus five through other processors.

The number of transactions businesses complete after enabling UnionPay SecurePlus can shoot up dramatically, according to two case studies shared by UnionPay. The first business, an online travel agent, logged more than 10 times the completed transactions – from $40,000 in volume across 140 transactions daily up to $500,000 and 1,600 transactions daily – in just four months. The second, a medium-sized retail merchant, saw a similarly significant increase in sales after promoting its relationship with UnionPay SecurePlus.


Coming Soon to MerchantE

In the coming months, MerchantE will be the exclusive provider in the United States of UnionPay SecurePlus powered by Payscout. We’ll share more information about how to sign up for UnionPay SecurePlus soon.

In the meantime, call your MerchantE representative if you have questions about this new payment method. And, of course, crunch some numbers and dream about what UnionPay SecurePlus and those 9 billion cardholders might do for your business. Just make sure you turn that dream into reality when the time comes.

Are you ready to grow with MerchantE or need to get in touch? Don't hesitate to contact our support or sales team today.