UnionPay cardholders, tourists, students and residents in New Zealand will now be able to pay for their groceries online and in-store conveniently. Countdown has partnered with major Chinese payment system UnionPay. The partnership will see UnionPay cards accepted across all of Countdown’s 181 supermarket stores across New Zealand.

The collaboration means that Countdown is the first supermarket in New Zealand to accept UnionPay payment options (prepaid, debit and credit cards) as well as UnionPay QuickPass — UnionPay’s contactless payment service available with UnionPay chip cards, mobile phones and wearable devices. UnionPay allows for purchases to be directly deducted from UnionPay cardholders’ RMB accounts in Chinese Yuan without any currency conversion fees. 

“Countdown stores across the country welcome a diverse range of customers through our doors every day, and this includes the growing number of tourists from China.  We want to make it easy for people visiting New Zealand to shop with us and partnering with UnionPay is one way we know we can make customers feel even more welcome in our stores,” explained Brett Ashley, Countdown’s General Manager Operations.

The partnership allows UnionPay to expand further into the South Pacific and gives their customers even more flexibility. “UnionPay is pleased to be in partnership with Countdown as it allows us to further enhance our customer services to UnionPay cardholders in South Pacific region and make it easy for people from China as well as other 48 countries and regions when they’re visiting New Zealand,” added James Yang, general manager of UnionPay International South Pacific.

UnionPay is a preferred payment method for Chinese tourists and is currently accepted in 170 counties and regions across the globe. In the first eight months of 2018, transactions using UnionPay QuickPass in New Zealand grew by about 190 percent compared to 2017.