September 18, 2012
BSP here links with China bank
September 18, 2012 | Filed under: Business Posted by: newsroom
By RACHNA LAL
Bank South Pacific (BSP) yesterday, through a partnership with China UnionPay, opened the door for UnionPay cardholders to withdraw local currency at any BSP ATM nationwide.
China UnionPay has more than 3.1 billion UnionPay cardholders and the partnership will give them the ability to conduct financial transactions at any of BSP’s 100 ATMs.
This move is expected to bode well for our growing Chinese tourist numbers as well as encourage further investments.
BSP country manager, Kevin McCarthy said: “We have recognised the recent influx of Chinese visitors into Fiji for tourism, study and business ventures.
“And so we have improved our service offerings to meet the demands of this new market for Fiji.”
Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Barry Whiteside, described the alliance as an excellent business and investment opportunity for both countries and institutions.
“In Fiji, we are always pleased to see the strengthening of collaboration, partnerships and business opportunities with countries that are aligned to our objectives and will help us grow as a nation,” he said.
Mr Whiteside indicated a large increase in Chinese tourist arrivals had been noted.
“In 2009, the number of tourist arrivals from China at 4087 was just 0.8 per cent of total arrivals,” he said.
“In 2010, the figure rose to 18,147 or 2.9 per cent and further increased to 24,389 or 3.6 per cent in 2011.
“The latest figure for January to March 2012 is 5.2 per cent of the total visitors.
With the increasing trend in arrivals from China, we know that such an alliance will be beneficial to China UnionPay and BSP.”
First executive vice-president of UnionPay, Cai Jianbo, said with the expansion of UnionPay network, Chinese tourists could use their UnionPay cards conveniently in more destinations abroad as the card was becoming a common payment solution.
“Fiji, a world-famous tourist destination, is also the Chinese favourite outbound tourism destination,” he said.
“The co-operation between UnionPay and BSP is based on the common goal which is providing high-quality card services to the cardholders who come to visit Fiji.
“UnionPay would utilise BSP’s market advantage in South Pacific region to deepen the co-operation with each other.”
Recently, the Fijian Government has supported initiatives that make Fiji more conducive to China and the economic prospects it offers for the people of Fiji.
These include the added convenience of direct flights between Hong Kong and Fiji and the “Visa on Arrival” policy for visitors from China.
In addition, the acceptance of UnionPay on BSP’s ATM network will also open up access for other bank customers from 26 other countries who also subscribe with Union Pay.
BSP is scheduled to extend the acceptance of UnionPay on its EFTPOS network by the early October.