UnionPay International announced today that it has reached cooperation with Banque Misr in Egypt. The two sides have agreed to enable UnionPay acceptance at all the Bank’s local merchants by the first quarter of 2018. The agreement enhances UnionPay acceptance penetration at the local POS terminals to 40%. Now, cardholders are already able to withdraw cash at almost all the local ATMs.
As the local bank with the longest history, Banque Misr has about 500 branches in Egypt, with its merchants spreading across the country. This time, UnionPay International collaborates with the Bank in merchant acceptance, and will enable the Bank’s airport merchants, scenic spots, duty-free stores and shopping centers in cities like Cairo, Alexander, Luxor and Aswan to accept UnionPay cards, including ticket offices at the Pyramids, Egyptain Museum, Temple of Luxor, as well as Cairo Duty Free and CityStar Shopping Center, meeting cardholders’ payment experience when shopping, sight-seeing and entertaining in Egypt.
More and more Chinese people are visiting Egypt over the past few years and China has become one of the country’s most important tourist source countries. According to a survey conducted by the local tourism department, Chinese tourists not only visit Cairo, but also prefer popular travel destinations such as Luxor and Aswan. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Egypt doubled in the first half of this year, and is expected to reach 300,000 this year. During the Chinese National Day Holiday this year, the transaction volume of UnionPay cards in Egypt more than doubled.
With Chinese people traveling to more countries and regions nowadays, Africa becomes one of the fastest-growing markets of Chinese outbound tourism. The local UnionPay acceptance environment is continuously improving too. Now, cardholders can use UnionPay cards conveniently in 48 African countries. For instance, UnionPay cards are accepted at about 90% of the ATMs and merchants in South Africa, and 90% of POS terminals and over 85% of ATMs in Kenya.