China’s Union Pay Acquires Access To Belarus’s Largest ATM Network

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China’s UnionPay, a leading global payment services provider competing with the likes of Visa and Mastercard, has announced completion of its integration with the ATM and POS network in Belarus with JSC Bel Agroprombank, one of the largest banks in Belarus. Union Pay has therefore significantly increased its acquiring network coverage in the country.

Currently, UnionPay cards are accepted by more than 65% of ATMs and trade and service enterprise terminals in Belarus, and its QuickPass contactless payment is accepted by most of the POS terminals.

UnionPay’s development in Belarus is supported with a strong partnership over the most of important banks and has been issuing UnionPay contactless cards through Belgazprombank in the Belarus market since 2019.

UnionPay is also launching a cashback campaign with Belgazprombank, aiming to promote new card usage. Under the terms of this arrangement, when paying with a UnionPay card issued by Belgazprombank before the end of September 2021, new cardholders can get 5% cashback from any amount of a non-cash transaction, with a maximum of Belarus Rubles (BYN) 150 (US$60) per month. That is the equivalent to about 7% of the Belarus average monthly salary.

UnionPay’s existing cardholders who were issued a card prior to 12th July 2021 can also get 2% cashback with a BYN 100 monthly limit. Customers of Belgazprombank may also be issued contactless UnionPay cards in Belarusian rubles and foreign currency (US dollars, Euros, and Russian rubles), and enjoy special privileges and promotions under the loyalty program. For online registration and cashback campaign information, please visit.

Belarus has a population of 9.3 million and is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) along with Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. The EAEU has free trade agreements with Singapore and Vietnam, with agreements with China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand all currently pending. It is a member of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and shares borders with EU member states Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

About JSC Belagroprombank

JSC Belagroprombank is one of the largest banks in Belarus and one of the nation’s top 3 banks. With over 29 years of operation, the bank now has more than 36 thousand corporate clients, 1.7 million retail clients, as well as over 300 customer service points available across the whole country.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay is an international payment system founded in 2002. UnionPay International is focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. Now UnionPay payment acceptance network has expanded to 180 countries and regions, and 70 countries and regions have issued UnionPay cards.

The agreement between Belarus and Union Pay is significant and moves the Belarus economy and financial security to the East, as opposed to the European Union’s desires. It also reduces the impact of financial sanctions imposed by the West on Belarus and helps secure against threats such as SWIFT terminal cut off. Belarus-China trade currently sees China exporting goods to the value of about US$2.4 billion while it imports about US$1.2 billion in goods from Belarus, with Potash exports dominating. A significant Chinese Special Economic and Free Trade Zone operates at the Great Stone Industrial Park, close to Minsk airport, manufacturing automotive and related parts. Belarus is also a significant tractor and manufacturer of agricultural machinery.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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