In 2007, 144,000 Chinese visitors came to the UK. This figure is expected to rise as there is growing interest in the UK due to the 2012 Olympics. Chinese visitors are bringing immense spending potential. In addition, around 100,000 Chinese students study in the UK. The LINK ATM network, supported by VocaLinkâs switching solution, will enable visitors with CUP bankcards to withdraw cash from any LINK ATM. Currently, visitors have to carry cash or use dual-currency credit cards which carry a higher withdrawal fee.
CUP has over 1 billion payment cards in China and aims to be the worldâs third major card scheme. Today CUP cards are accepted at ATMs across 45 countries and regions.
Marion King, chief executive at VocaLink, commented, âWe are proud to be the first financial institution in the UK to enter into partnership with China Unionpay. Through the LINK scheme, CUP cardholders whether they are tourists, students or businessmen will have access to UK ATMs. We hope that this is but the first step in a longer-term relationship with China Unionpay.â
LIU Tinghuan, chairman of China Unionpay said, âChinaâs economy is developing rapidly with a significant increase in personal income. To meet the urgent demands from cardholders to use CUP card abroad, CUP is actively exploring international acceptance of CUP card. The UK is a major European destination for Chinese travellers and out-bound students, and therefore a key market for CUP. The signing of the cooperation agreement with LINK today is a remarkable progress for CUPâs international development.â