China UnionPay and Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. have signed an agreement under which Shinhan Card will issue UnionPay credit cards in South Korea this year, the companies announced last week.

This is UnionPay’s second such agreement with a Korean card issuer In October. It signed an agreement in which issuer Lotte Card Co. Ltd. began issuing UnionPay-branded bankcards in South Korea (see story).

A later deal, signed in the same month with BC Card Co. Ltd., ensured that many point-of-sale terminals in Korea accept UnionPay cards (see story).

“Cardholders can use UnionPay cards to make payments at over 300,000 large merchants and for cash withdrawal on nearly half of ATMs in Korea,” a UnionPay spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

The UnionPay/Shinhan Card agreement will provide the two countries' residents with a convenient cross-border payment mechanism and help boost tourism, Weidong Wang, analyst with Beijing-based iResearch Consulting Group, tells Payments Source.

“Shinhan Card is also looking at the Chinese market, so this is a good platform for them to start with,” Wang adds.

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