The First Implementation of UnionPay Chip Issuing and Acquiring

Central Asia's largest bank and OpenWay are the first to launch UnionPay chip card issuing and acquiring in the region.

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December 22, 2014 - Almaty, Kazkhstan

People's Bank of Kazakhstan (Halyk Bank), the largest bank in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, together with OpenWay, a recognized leader in software for bankcard issuing and acquiring, payment processing, remote banking services and financial transaction routing, have launched issuing and acquiring of UnionPay UICC chip cards.

This is the first project of its kind in Central Asia.

The project to support the issuing of UnionPay chip cards and acquiring at ATMs and POS terminals was completed in just four months. The cards are being issued as UnionPay and Altyn co-branded cards. Altyn is the bank's local payment system. 

"When implementing innovative technology we put our customers first,” says Marat Almenov, the deputy chair of the management board at People's Bank of Kazakhstan. “Considering the growing worldwide popularity of UnionPay and expected demand for its cards, we have introduced the co-branded Altyn UnionPay and Altyn UnionPay Gold cards. These cards meet our customers’ demands and fully comply with the latest international standards for security," explains Mr Almenov.

"For UnionPay – a payment system with ambitions in Central Asia – it is very important to partner with market leaders in order to develop our business. People's Bank of Kazakhstan’s card business is already being managed on the WAY4 processing platform, which has proven highly reliable. We are happy that we have chosen the right partner for this project.” - notes Zhang Chendong, country manager of UnionPay International in Kazakhstan.

Dmitry Dovgal, OpenWay’s deputy director of business development, points out that the swift implementation of the UnionPay smart cards forms a logical link in the chain of numerous other innovative issuing and acquiring projects implemented in partnership with People's Bank of Kazakhstan. 

OpenWay collaborates with UnionPay International in several global markets including issuing and acquiring projects launched on the WAY4 platform in Iceland, Kenya, Russia and Azerbaijan. Implementations are also being carried out in other countries. 

About People's Bank of Kazakhstan (Halyk)

People's Bank of Kazakhstan is one of Kazakhstan's leading financial groups and retail banks with the largest customer base and distribution network in Kazakhstan. The Bank is developing as a universal financial group, offering a broad range of services (banking, insurance, leasing, brokerage, and asset management) to its retail, small and medium enterprises and corporate customers. People's Bank also operates in Russia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

About Union Pay International

UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary focusing on development and support of UnionPay's international business. Its founder is China UnionPay (pinyin: Zhōngguó Yínlián, CUP) – China's payment system. Founded in 2002 by the country's leading banks, its creation was initiated by the State Council and People's Bank of China. Just two years later, the company began working outside China and currently operates in 142 countries.