ACI Blog

Preparing for the Holidays: What Merchants Need to Know About UnionPay

We’ve all read about the pandemic bringing a significant increase in eCommerce and mCommerce. With the holidays fast approaching, consumers around the world will be spending more time shopping online, and merchants can expect to see a boost in overall traffic, as well as an increase in customers funneling through the checkout process.

And while many might assume an increase in traffic would lead to more conversions, this is simply not true. In fact, 59 percent of shoppers will abandon their transaction if their preferred payment methods are not available. With consumers demanding a wider range of payment choices, how can merchants ensure they’re providing a seamless payments experience across all channels while offering a variety of payment options?

The world’s largest eCommerce market

Not only is China the largest eCommerce market in the world, it is growing at a rate of 6 percent (on average) each year and revenues are expected to top USD $2 trillion in 2025. China’s eCommerce sector is more than three times the size of the U.S. market, which currently ranks second. With eCommerce experiencing significant and steady growth, what best practices from China can merchants take away as their own?

From crossing borders to cross-border eCommerce

Putting aside the impact of the pandemic and travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021, Chinese travelers rank first in the world in global tourism. In 2019, Chinese tourists spent almost USD $254.6 billion while traveling abroad. 

UnionPay has long been a popular way to pay for Chinese traveling abroad; a trusted and familiar card brand, no matter where in the world they are. Its popularity is attributable to generous cardholder benefits, including no foreign transaction fees, no purchasing limits, worldwide customer support and discounts at various attractions. These benefits have fostered a deep loyalty, with its cards accepted at 63 million merchants in 180 countries and regions.

However, with the travel restrictions in place around the world over the past 18 months, the challenge for merchants currently is how to tap into this large and loyal cardholder base for cross-border eCommerce. Offering the right mix of payment options on the checkout page is a first step; if merchants get it right, they can expect to see an uplift in completed transactions.

Meeting customer expectations

As holiday shopping traffic — from Black Friday and Cyber Monday through to China Singles Day (11.11) — inevitably increases, merchants should consider the difference UnionPay can make both in terms of meeting customer demands and tapping into a new customer base. Merchants that have the UnionPay logo on their merchant checkout page stand to see a significant boost in holiday transaction volumes and AOV (average order value) increase. And, with some travel restrictions set to lift, it might not be long until cardholders are crossing borders again as well as shopping cross-border.

ACI Secure eCommerce offers access to hundreds of alternative payment methods, digital wallets, acquirers and card brands including UnionPay enabled via a feature-rich developer portal.

To learn more about adding UnionPay to your checkout page, reach out to an ACI customer success manager here: [email protected]

Senior Principal Solution Consultant, Payments Risk Management

Kieran is an expert card-not-present fraud and payment strategies, working across multiple sectors and markets. A qualified accountant, Kieran understands how to optimize online conversion and revenues within all aspects of eCommerce. Experienced in working with both retailers and vendors, he offers a deliberate and proactive approach to managing people and business issues.