First Data International (FDC) and China UnionPay announced the launch of a joint service capability that provides Chinese visitors access to their cash via First Data's ATM network, Cashcard, the largest ATM network in Australia.

In addition, the companies have reached an agreement to expand their relationship to promote the acceptance of CUP cards in other markets outside China. Together First Data and CUP will promote the acceptance of CUP cards, in certain global markets, at ATM locations and merchant point-of-sale locations using First Data systems. First Data will also provide transaction routing and payment processing services.

"We consider our relationship with CUP a significant step toward providing access for CUP members' cardholders to our ATM networks, point-of-sale locations and electronic payments capabilities worldwide," said Nigel Lee, president, First Data International, Asia.

China UnionPay, approved by the People's Bank of China, is a shareholding financial service institution with the registered capital of CNY1.65 billion established in Shanghai on March 26, 2002 through capital contributions by more than 80 domestic financial institutions. As the association for joint development of China's bankcard, CUP's basic responsibility is to implement the bankcard interoperability in China and countries frequently visited by Chinese people, to build Chinese national bankcard brand and to promote the development of Chinese bankcard industry. At the end of 2006, 1.175 billion Chinese bankcards have been accepted via CUP network. 189 member institutions have issued CUP cards and 520 thousand merchants can accept CUP cards.

CUP cardholders now have access to more than 5,800 Cashcard ATMs across Australia. According to Jeffery Huang, vice president for CUP's International Division, this announcement is key in facilitating convenient access to cash for the exponentially growing number of CUP members' cardholders visiting Australia.

"The relationship with First Data will provide our customers easy access to cash whether they are on business, holiday or studying," Huang added. "We are pleased to partner with First Data to offer our cardholders greater convenience, and we look forward to working with them on future initiatives as we expand our presence globally."

As a result of the relationship with CUP, First Data Cashcard ATM locations now offer enhanced functionality to its clients and their consumers meeting the evolving needs of the global payments market.

"The relationship with CUP is a prime example of how we are supporting the Chinese government's aim for Chinese businesses to expand globally and provide stable access to cash for the increasing number of Chinese citizens traveling overseas," said Peter Wright, president, First Data International, Australia and New Zealand.

First Data International has approximately 7,900 employees and operates across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific. First Data serves 4.9 million merchant locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers.


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