Australia's big four bank, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), has announced it will implement China's UnionPay contactless payment feature QuickPass to ANZ electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) terminals and ATMs throughout the Austrasia region.

China's UnionPay is moving forward with its global expansion plans, announcing yesterday it had concluded a deal with ANZ that would find the bank implementing UnionPay's QuickPass contactless capability to 90,000 ANZ EFTPOS terminals across Australia.

The feature will be deployed to New Zealand by the end of 2015, while mag-stripe and EMV compliant acceptance will be introduced to ANZ's EFTPOS terminals and ATMs across 11 markets in Asia Pacific starting from early 2016, the bank said.

At a launch event in Melbourne on Thursday, June 11, ANZ CEO Mike Smith, explained:

"Every year, more and more Chinese tourists, students and business people travel to Australia, with around 800,000 visiting in 2014. As a super regional bank operating in 34 markets, we recognized that we needed to expand our card payment options to support customers’ cross-border activities."

ANZ CEO Mike Smith

China UnionPay is the leading card network in China with currently more than 5 billion UnionPay cards in use. Its global brand, UnionPay International, has partnered with more than 300 institutions worldwide and its global network covers more than 150 countries and regions.

"We are glad to partner with ANZ and this cooperation will dramatically expand the UnionPay card acceptance footprint in Australia and New Zealand while in the meantime bringing about breakthroughs in innovative payments," Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International, said.

"As the next step, we will work closely with Australian institutions in promoting the crossborder application of innovative UnionPay products and services in a bid to expand the acceptance of QuickPass, improve card-using services and provide UnionPay cardholders with payment experiences that are both secure and convenient."

China UnionPay, which began to expand overseas in 2004, aims to become a global bank card company, Ge Huayong, chairman of China UnionPay and UnionPay International, said on Wednesday, June 10, in a speech at the Shanghai City Campaign Forum.

However, "UnionPay International is not a truly international payment card company" given that overseas transactions account for only about 2 to 3% of its overall transactions, Ge noted.

"But we have an advantage in expansion as China's economy grows rapidly," he concluded.

UnionPay's QuickPass integration with ANZ EFTPOS terminals and ATMs, follows the news of MasterCard revealing that MasterPass, a similar contactless payment feature, has surged in transaction volumes across Asia-Pacific.