TNS paves way for UnionPay global growth

Retailers globally stand to benefit from a new alliance making its easier for Chinese to shop with their UnionPay cards.

Transaction Network Services (TNS) has launched a new global card scheme gateway which will enable merchants and banks to quickly and easily connect with UnionPay for authorisation and processing of in-store payment transactions.

Banks, processors and merchants wishing to accept UnionPay cards will be able to use the TNS Scheme Gateway to access UnionPay’s processing hub in Hong Kong, removing the need for self-managed complex and costly bespoke connections.

Lisa Shipley, executive VP and MD of TNS’ Payment Network Solutions, said UnionPay is now a significant player within the card industry globally and merchants and banks have long recognised the importance of being able to accept payments made via its card.

“In addition to being complex, setting up bespoke network links can prove extremely costly and time consuming both to establish and to maintain, and as a result many merchants have been simply unable to accept UnionPay transactions until now.

“We are removing the need for organisations to make changes to backend systems and networks, and offering them a streamlined, efficient and cost-effective alternative which can be operational in as little as two weeks.”

The TNS Scheme Gateway for UnionPay uses TNS’ Secure Payments Network which allows retailers and banks to handle customer card data in accordance with PCI DSS regulations and best in class visibility and monitoring which ensures maximum uptime and availability. The technology converts the local domestic message format into UnionPay’s preferred type and manages all clearing, dispute and reconciliation files. TNS also manages all card scheme updates and compliance requirements, allowing merchants, banks and processors to focus on their core business.

Currency exchange provider Travelex has already tested and signed up for the new gateway, becoming one of TNS’ first customers.

Damian Cecchi, Travelex GM, said the new gateway was easy to set up and is much simpler than managing the company;s own connection.


UnionPay dominates China’s fledgling credit card industry with 4.3 billion UnionPay cards now issued. IN 2013, more than US$5.2 trillion was spent using UnionPay and the cards are now being issued outside China.

James Yang, chief representative South Pacific from UnionPay International, said working with TNS is part of a global expansion plan.

“As our customers seek to explore the world they live in they need a trusted form of payment which can travel with them and with TNS’ help their UnionPay card will be their perfect travel partner.

“Since UnionPay was established in 2002, we have actively responded to the social and economic development of China and are proud to have driven the growth of China’s bankcard industry. This new partnership with TNS helps us to take the next step and cement our position in the global marketplace.”

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