Building on an agreement signed last February, Sri Lanka’s most innovative bank, HNB PLC, announced a follow-up partnership with UnionPay International to enable ATM acceptance of UnionPay cards. UnionPay is currently the largest bankcard scheme in terms of cards issued in the world.
The new agreement further consolidates on the relationship between UnionPay and HNB, which was the first domestic bank in Sri Lanka to commence POS acceptance on UnionPay Cards.
Management from UnionPay International including Mr. Shuan Ghaidan (Product Director) and Mr. Liu Heng (General Manager of Hong Kong, Macau and South Asia) attended an event to commemorate the signing of the agreement with HNB, which is anticipated to enable even greater convenience for cardholders of the increasingly popular network.
“Particularly at a time when China continues to be the number one market in the world with the highest number of outbound tourists, this partnership is a timely step towards the facilitation of greater convenience and connection between Sri Lanka and the East Asian region.
“We believe that this partnership with UnionPay International represents another important step towards establishing greater economic and ultimately social integration with this vibrant region. In that regard, we express our gratitude and look forward working with UnionPay International to further strengthen our partnership moving forward,” HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles stated.
As the world’s leading payment network, UnionPay International is one of the world’s fastest growing global payment networks and is now accepted in 162 countries and regions with issuance in 42 countries and regions. The payment network initially grew parallel to increased demand for card use from Chinese customers traveling overseas for business, travel and study, however the network has since grown rapidly in popularity outside of China – particularly across Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe and the United States.
“With UnionPay as the leading payment method among Chinese tourists, the demand for local payment and cash withdrawal with our cards continues to increase. Earlier this year, we already joined hands to enable POS business in Sri Lanka; today the further deepened partnership with HNB on ATMs will definitely lead to a win-win situation. We will continue to strive to provide our card users seamless payment services around the globe and as the next step, we look forward to further exploring innovative payment opportunities with HNB in Sri Lanka,” Mr. Shuan Ghaidan, Product Director of UnionPay International said.
China is widely projected to become Sri Lanka’s strongest inbound tourist market in the near future with the tourist industry estimating a 10.4 percent annual increase up to 2021. Such trends are expected to be greatly bolstered by the proposed One Belt One Road initiative mooted by China, which is anticipated to boost tourist arrivals and trade within the region.
UnionPay International is the subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on international business. More than 6.3 billion UnionPay cards have been issued globally. It provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services ensuring convenient localized services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and merchants.
HNB continues to be a respected pioneer in the Sri Lankan banking industry having been adjudged ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ for the 9th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2017, which also recognized HNB as the ‘Best Microfinance Product in the Asia Pacific Region’. The bank won several other accolades during the year including The AsiaMoney Magazine’s award as ‘Best Bank for SME’ and ‘Best Bank for CSR’ in Sri Lanka. More recently, CFA Sri Lanka bestowed HNB with a ‘Bronze’ award for ‘Best Investor Relations’ while HNB’s Annual Report was adjudged to be among the top 10 integrated reports at the CMA Sri Lanka awards 2017. HNB’s leadership in technology was also recognized with the Bank’s ATM network being recognized as the ‘Best ATM Network of the Year’ at the Lanka Pay Technnovation Awards 2017.
HNB is the first local Bank in Sri Lanka to receive an international rating on par with the sovereign from Moody’s Investor Services while maintaining a national long term rating of AA - (lka) from Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. HNB is also ranked amongst the top 1000 banks in the world by the prestigious Banker Magazine.