KASIKORNBANK has connected its payment system with UnionPay International (UPI), China’s international credit card giant, a move to serve the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand, with over 3.3 million visitors expected in 2013. The service offers online payment for products and services via credit and debit cards, with international-standard security, emphasizing the country’s leadership in e-commerce. The Bank has targeted a rise in card acceptance of 30 percent this year, or approximately 60 billion Baht.
According to KBank CEO and President Mr. Banthoon Lamsam, the Bank and UnionPay, the Chinese credit and debit card service provider with the world’s largest cardholder base, have signed an agreement for payment system connection to facilitate Chinese tourists and those living in Thailand with more convenience in their financial transactions, starting with K-Payment Gateway. KBank is the first bank in Thailand to offer such a service. In the initial period, the system can accept UnionPay credit and debit cards issued by KBank and Chinese financial institutions, and it will be able to accept additional cards issued by the Bank and other international financial institutions going forward.
Currently, the number of UnionPay cardholders is the world’s highest at 3.23 billion, of which 2.8 billion are in the Asia Pacific region, while merchants accepting UnionPay cards number at least 5.65 million. More than 1.37 million ATMs in 107 countries also accept UnionPay cards. Spending in Thailand via UnionPay cards totaled approximately 34.5 billion Baht in 2012, while ATM cash withdrawals via the card amounted to1.56 billion Baht, an increase of 38 percent. Spending via KBank’s electronic data captures (EDCs) was at 7.7 billion Baht, a jump of 38 percent.
The agreement of system enhancement with UnionPay will enable merchants using K-Payment Gateway to accept UnionPay credit and debit cards, a supportive factor in boosting sales via e-commerce in Thailand. The move is an opportunity for online business extension, as Chinese represent the largest group of foreign tourists in Thailand, with a higher number than those from Malaysia. In 2012, more than 2.8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, a surge of 62 percent compared to the previous year. It is expected that the number will rise to 3.3 million in 2013. KBank stands ready to develop supportive systems in serving Chinese customers’ demands, which, in turn, will boost opportunities for sales of products and services among card-accepting merchants. The Bank will also issue UnionPay cards for Thais.
At present, K-Payment Gateway is serving international credit and debit cards in more than 36 major currencies. In 2012, more than 45 billion Baht of card acceptance was conducted via K-Payment Gateway, marking its top player position with more than 70-percent market share. KBank believes the agreement with UnionPay will help boost card acceptance via the K-Payment Gateway with growth of at least 30 percent, or approximately 60 billion Baht. This is consistent with the Bank’s strategy of being the best gateway for online payment, available to serve consumers’ lifestyles as buyers and sellers in the cyber world with international-standard security. KBank is determined to continuously enhance its service in order to serve all consumer segments, and to pursue business partnerships domestically and abroad to provide services covering all customer groups.