New TNS card scheme gateway 'set to accelerate UnionPay acceptance worldwide'

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.

Merchants, banks and processors 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 Vice President and Managing Director of TNS' Payment Network Solutions, said: "We're delighted to have secured this arrangement with UnionPay to establish this gateway to promote in-store card acceptance internationally. UnionPay is a significant player within the card industry globally and merchants and banks have long recognized 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 organizations 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 utilizes TNS' highly resilient and robust Secure Payments Network which provides a range of value-added features, including handling 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 immediately saw the value of the new gateway when TNS customers were given an exclusive preview and has signed up to the service.

Damian Cecchi, General Manager at Travelex, said: "As a TNS customer we were already familiar with the company's impressive transaction capabilities and great service, so when we learnt we would be able to use their new gateway to accept UnionPay transactions the decision to proceed came naturally. It was very easy to set up and is much simpler than managing our own connection."

The TNS Scheme Gateway for UnionPay will allow merchants to capitalize on the growing numbers of Chinese tourists travelling the world, with more than 4.3 billion UnionPay cards issued in total. Consumer spending via UnionPay cards was over $5.2 trillion USD worldwide in 2013 and increasingly cards are being issued to customers outside of China.

James Yang, Chief Representative South Pacific from UnionPay International, said: "Working with TNS is part of our global expansion plan and will be key to enhancing acceptance of our cards in merchant locations around the world. 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."

Founded in 1990, TNS' global expertise extends to more than 60 countries across Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific regions. Through its broader payment solutions offering, TNS now connects over a million merchants and retailers to the world's leading banks, acquirers and processors, enabling secure, efficient and cost-effective delivery and processing of payments.

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