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Media releases

Westpac and UnionPay International launch trial to benefit growing WA tourism industry

2 December 2016

  • New e-commerce payments trial to commence in Western Australia (WA) with Rottnest Express
  • Westpac enables WA merchants to accept more than 5.8 billion UnionPay cards

Westpac Business Bank today announced it has partnered with UnionPay International (UPI) to enable WA merchants to trial acceptance of UnionPay cards via online payment channels.

UPI, a subsidiary of China UnionPay, is focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 1,000 institutions worldwide, it has enabled card acceptance in 160 countries and regions with issuance in more than 40 countries and regions. The partnership with Westpac will provide local businesses with the opportunity to connect online with the rising number of Chinese tourists travelling to WA.

According to Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey, the number of Chinese travellers to WA increased 15.7 per cent in the 12 months to 30 June 2016; with $85 million estimated in total spend.

As Western Australia’s tourism sector is expecting continued growth in 2017, Westpac is working closely with merchants to provide an easy payment solution for Asian tourists and business travellers using UnionPay cards. The first Westpac merchant to trial the new capability is Rottnest Express, an award-winning ferry service in WA.

Jay Watson, State General Manager for WA said Westpac is committed to supporting merchants capture the value of the growing electronic payments market and ensuring payment acceptance is seamless.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with UPI to deliver greater value to our merchants by enabling them to serve inbound visitors before they even reach our shores. We’re also proud to be supporting one of our valued tourism customers in the WA market, and we look forward to enabling other Westpac merchants to take advantage of this growing opportunity,” said Mr Watson.

James Yang, General Manager of UnionPay International South Pacific said the continued rollout of UnionPay Online Payment service in Australia is an exciting development that will enable Westpac merchants to accept UnionPay cards issued worldwide.

“We are particularly pleased to be able to support a leading tourism provider within the WA market, which is an attractive destination for the significant number of tourists from China, who are expected to be Australia’s largest inbound source market by 2017-2018 , and we look forward to those opportunities being made available to other Westpac merchants,” said Mr Yang.

Rottnest Express, a leading Western Australian tour operator servicing Rottnest Island, has experienced an influx of Chinese tourists visiting the Island.

Scott Bailey, Chairman of Rottnest Express said as an industry leader, Rottnest Express is pleased to be working cooperatively with Westpac to make it easier for Chinese customers to book and pay for travel and tours.

“We are one of the first Westpac corporate customers to accept UnionPay cards from an online payment gateway and we look forward to seeing and sharing the results.

“Rottnest Express is committed to the China tourism market and we are working closely with Tourism Western Australia to do so, attending trade missions and participating in marketing campaigns. Feedback from Chinese visitors shows their favourite activities on Rottnest are to experience the Quokkas, local seafood and nature. We hope introducing UnionPay online will assist their Western Australian travel experience," said Mr Bailey.

Tourism WA acting CEO Gwyn Dolphin said China is a vital cog in the state's strategy to increase the economic value of tourism in Western Australia to $12 billion by 2020.

"It is often the smaller, practical things that go a long way to making sure a visitor has an extraordinary experience. Something as seemingly simple as being able to use the payment systems they already have, are comfortable with and understand can make their time here smoother and more enjoyable," said Mr Dolphin.

Wide-spread acceptance of UnionPay Online Payment is expected to be launched early 2017.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 1000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 160 countries and regions with issuance in more than 40 countries and regions. UnionPay International provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and merchants.