The pan-African company, which has operations in Nigeria and is present in West and Central Africa, said with the integration UnionPay cardholders can now make use of their cards at more than 70,000 merchants and more than 11,000 ATMs belonging to Interswitch partners in Nigeria and Uganda, with Gambia to follow next.
Interswitch added the partnership will also serve as the electronic door linking Nigeria and China.
Akeem Lawal, managing director of Interswitch Switching and Processing, said the company is excited to have UnionPay cards on its platform.
“We are delighted to welcome UnionPay cards to the Interswitch network. The agreement is an important step for Interswitch and brings us one step closer to offering our service to cardholders from all of the major card brands,” Lawal said.
Mitchell Elegbe, group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) at Interswitch Transnational, said: “This agreement opens a new vista of electronic payments between Nigeria and China. UnionPay cardholders now have more convenient access to their money through the Interswitch network when they visit Nigeria.
“In addition, Nigerian banks will benefit from increased transactions from UnionPay cardholders using their ATMs and POS infrastructure while merchants will benefit from increased sales from a larger pool of cardholders.”
Cai Jianbo, chief executive officer (CEO) of UnionPay, said the company decided to partner with Interswitch after it discovered more of its customers are visiting Africa on business and relaxation.
“More and more UnionPay cardholders are visiting Africa for business and pleasure,” Jianbo said.
“To meet this growing demand we have been working closely with local partners to increase acceptance of UnionPay cards across the continent. To date, UnionPay cards can be used in more than 40 countries and regions in Africa, and provide a convenient and safe payment service to cardholders and merchants.”
He added that the partnership would enable Interswitch and UnionPay to better their pan-African growth and acceptance plans.