Moorwand offers first UnionPay prepaid cards in the U.K.

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British payments technology company Moorwand is offering the first UnionPay prepaid cards in the U.K. on its UPayCard branded prepaid platform, with a larger roll-out planned for consumers and corporations during the first quarter of 2019.

The first set of UnionPay cards has already been issued in the U.K. to existing UPayCard accountholders, according to Moorwand’s press release. The company plans to offer a wider roll-out in larger volumes in the U.K. and across Europe in the first quarter of 2019. The UPayCard platform allows for multi-currencies and is available to consumers and businesses.

“We are extremely excited to be working with UnionPay, as these are the first UnionPay prepaid cards to be issued in Europe," said Robert Courtneidge, CEO of Moorwand, in the release.

"We are looking forward to building a long successful partnership with UnionPay, and playing a major role in helping to grow their presence even further in Europe,” Courtneidge added.

Last September UnionPay was reported to have started working with a British firm, now identified as Moorwand, in preparation of a U.K. corporate prepaid virtual card launch.

“This is a significant step for UnionPay through the issuance of the first prepaid cards with a U.K. financial partner," stated Wei Zhihong, international market director and head of the European branch at UnionPay International, in the release. "In the future, UnionPay’s business development in Europe will be based on continuing to drive wider card acceptance with our merchant partners while also developing a larger user base to issue cards.”

The challenge facing China’s UnionPay is that it is currently under heavy pressure in its home market from Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay as well as increasingly in overseas markets as those competitors expand internationally.

Separately, UnionPay signed an agreement in December with Millennium bcp, Portugal’s largest private to issue its card to its customers and to roll out support for the online payments service called UnionPay QuickPass.

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Prepaid cards U.K. Europe China