HARARE-- Britain's Standard Bank, the parent company of Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, has signed an agreement with UnionPay International, the Chinese bank card service operator, to accept its cards from entrepreneurs from Africa who want to do business in China.

A Standard Bank statement released here Tuesday quotes the executive head of Standard Bank Pan Africa Banking, George Lo, as saying that African entrepreneurs would no longer need to travel with cash but instead be able to purchase goods directly from suppliers throughout China at the swipe of a card.

African entrepreneurs and importers of Chinese goods and services have, traditionally, had to travel to China carrying foreign currency in cash for conversion into Renminbi," he says.

Going forward, Standard Bank cards or online transaction solutions will provide access to all UnionPay-enabled platforms in China, and Africans dealing with China will no longer need to travel with cash. Instead, they will soon be able to purchase goods directly from suppliers throughout China at the swipe of a card."

UnionPay is one of the world's leading card payments systems and hosts the majority of transactions in China.

The Vice-President of UnionPay International, Larry Wang, says it is exciting to be partnering Standard Bank in ensuring that African entrepreneurs are able to purchase goods directly from China using a swipe card instead of travelling with cash.

l am excited to be working with Standard Bank, Africa's biggest bank, which provides UnionPay an unrivaled platform with unmatched reach across Africa. UnionPay strives to ensure convenient and safe payment services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders visiting Africa, an increasingly important business and leisure destination. We also look forward to collaborating with Standard Bank in card issuance,

providing exciting new payment options for new African customers," he says.

Wang says the partnership will provide Africans with direct access to China, including its highly developed electronic and mobile transaction platforms.

Payment applications are hugely popular in China. Nearly all of these are exclusively UnionPay-enabled. This means that Standard Bank's UnionPay capability will allow Africans with Standard Bank accounts, cards or online payment products to access the full range of payment apps currently used to transact in China," he adds.


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