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HomePARTNER ARTICLESHow UnionPay can enhance New Zealand’s retail industry

How UnionPay can enhance New Zealand’s retail industry

Now that the Chinese market is very active in New Zealand, retailers across the country need to be prepared and provide their customers with UnionPay cards as a payment option.

Links between China and New Zealand have been growing strongly over the past decade, particularly through the education and tourism sector. As of 2018, Chinese New Zealanders account for 4.9 percent of the population of New Zealand, and are the largest Asian ethnic group in New Zealand, accounting for 36.3 percent of Asian New Zealanders.

With a significant population of Chinese New Zealanders, it is important for retailers across the country to accommodate this demographic. For merchants, having UnionPay cards as a payment option will help target Chinese customers and, in turn, drive more sales.

Head of Union Pay International South Pacific branch Jiangtao Jian, says offering UnionPay cards as a payment option sends the message to the Chinese consumer that they are welcomed and appreciated.

In New Zealand, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) was the first bank to issue local UnionPay cards to Kiwis. In 2020, China Union Pay (CUP) card acquirer Dynamic Payment started to issue digital UnionPay prepaid cards and has also developed a local E-wallet. As New Zealand’s payment industry transforms from plastic to digital, the e-wallet combined with digital UnionPay cards makes it easier for Kiwis to experience mobile payment.

For New Zealand to play a part in international business, embracing diversity in the payment industry is a crucial component.

The benefits of UnionPay for NZ merchants

According to a merchant survey done by RFi Research in 2018, four in five  merchants who accept UnionPay cards had experience benefits, with over a third experiencing increased sales and awareness among Chinese consumers. From the internal analysis, the average UnionPay card transaction was more than $800 and the largest single transaction in retail was $148k.

A New Zealand Chinese Spending Behaviours Study done by the Trace research in Jun 2020 shows that the annual household spending of the Chinese is $10.3B in total, making up 6.1 percent of total NZ household spending. Half of those recorded own UnionPay cards and one in five use the card daily.

e-commerce opportunities

There is no doubt that China is the world’s largest e-commerce market. Earlier this year, eMarketer estimated e-commerce in China will account for 52.1 percent of retail sales. That means for the first time anywhere, a majority of retail sales for an entire country will transact online.

Nowadays, consumers opt for an easy and fast online payment option. UnionPay has been working with the largest local payment gateway Windcave, as well as global players PayPal and Stripe, to provide a seamless online service to e-commerce merchants.

“To those who would like to explore the Chinese market, it is highly recommended to display the UnionPay logo on your website checkout page,” says Jian.

Another option for merchants is the UnionPay APP, a channel for local kiwi businesses to make their presence known in the Chinese market. Boasting more than four billion users, joining the UnionPay APP is bound to drive new sales for cross-border businesses.

Union Pay Marketing

In its early days, Union Pay International (UPI) put its marketing resources into New Zealand’s tourism industry. Doing this offered compelling exclusive instant discounts to UnionPay cardholders when shopping at tourist attractions, like Hobbiton, Ngai Tahu attractions, Aotea Gifts, Apex car rentals, etc.

Last year, UPI partnered with Tai Ping Asian supermarket (both in-store and online), and food delivery APPs like Buy@Home New Zealand and Hungry Panda to offer instant discounts to UnionPay cardholders which significantly boosted sales for those merchants. Take Taiping Newmarket store for example, a whole year of 10 percent off discount campaigns drives an average 25 percent quarterly growth of total sales during the campaign period.

Any merchant who wants to know more about UnionPay International in New Zealand, please contact: nzmerchant@unionpayintl.com

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