NZ to take advantage of Chinese tourism boom with mass UnionPay rollout

By Addie Thomes

Chinese payment platform UnionPay has said it will cover 80% of New Zealand merchants by the end of 2018.

Already accepted at 50,000 businesses and 85% of ATMs across the country, UnionPay allows users to pay for goods via card, mobile passes and apps.

Last year some 410,000 tourists from China visited New Zealand, 37% of which classes as independent travellers.

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UnionPay is also working closely with Immigration New Zealand and provides visa payment services, while tourists can also benefit from exclusive discounts at various venues.

The payment method is also popular in other parts of the region. In Australia, 90% of ATMs and 75% of merchants accept UnionPay, and over 60% of the UnionPay-accepting merchants also accept UnionPay mobile QuickPass. UnionPay is also available in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Timor-Leste.

Kiwi airports are reporting increases in traffic from China. At Auckland Airport, Chinese arrivals for holidays rose by 9.2% in the 12 months to February 2018.

A similar trend is occurring in Australia. Sydney Airport saw a 17.3% increase in Chinese visitors through 2017, helping take overall passenger numbers up to a record 43.3mn.

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