China UnionPay (UnionPay), which has been depending on card acceptance for international expansion, has shifted its strategy towards card issuance outside its domestic market. Against this backdrop, Asia-Pacific region presents UnionPay a lot of opportunities for future growth, says leading data and analytics company .
According to data from UnionPay, the Chinese financial services company issued 20 million UnionPay cards outside of China in 2017 making the total non-domestic card issuance to about 90 million.
, in its forecast, predicts that the payment cards market in the Asia-Pacific will see the most significant growth over the next few years as most of the countries in the region have huge population and are developing rapidly away from cash payments.
Arnie Cho, senior payments analyst at , says: “Under the current economic advancement in Asia-Pacific we feel opportunity for UnionPay lies in the region. That should also be the area where UnionPay will place most of its emphasis over the years ahead.”
The company’s figures reveal that markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam combined already have an estimated total of 340 million cards issued at the end of 2017. The market has potential for another 112 million cards and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% over the next five years to 2021.
In terms of transaction volume the forecast for these four markets in Asia-Pacific is even more impressive. The volume of transaction is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% from 1.34 billion in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2021.
Cho concludes: “Based on recently released figures from UnionPay, most of their growth market falls on the Belt and Road (OBOR) route such as Laos, Myanmar and Pakistan. However, the best opportunities for UnionPay are markets along the maritime silk road part of the OBOR route which essentially are markets in the Asia-Pacific Region.”
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