Mauritius Cim Finance first to issue UnionPay credit cards in Africa
Paul Leech, CEO at Cim Group, (left) together with Larry Wang, Chief Business Development Officer at UPI, proceeded to launch the credit cards. (Image: Cecilia Samoisi)
Mauritius’ financial services major, Cim Finance, has pioneered the issue of UnionPay credit cards in Africa.
Cim Finance, in partnership with UnionPay International (UPI), launched three credit cards – Cim UnionPay Classic, Gold and Business – today afternoon at Hotel Labourdonnais, Port-Louis.
These new credit cards give Mauritian entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain direct financial access to the Chinese market, which is the fastest growing consumer market in the world.
Paul Leech, CEO at Cim Group, together with Larry Wang, Chief Business Development Officer at UPI, proceeded to launch the credit cards.
Paul Leech stated that Cim Finance now has access to the largest credit card network in the world because UnionPay cards are the leading brand that Chinese cardholders use abroad, be it in Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore.
“The partnership between Cim Finance and UnionPay began in 2012 and today, we wish to build on this momentum on the issuer’s side by further expanding the business with a new offering. This partnership fits within our expansion and diversification strategy and we are indeed very proud to be associated with a brand of this calibre,” Paul Leech said.
The launch of the credit cards – Cim UnionPay Classic, Gold and Business – comes at a suitable time because Mauritians are undertaking frequent trips to Asia.
Moreover, as there are a growing number of UnionPay cardholders who travel between Mauritius and China, these cards will further contribute to an accelerated growth in trade between the island economy and the Asian emerging economy.
This collaboration will strengthen Mauritius as a business hub and transform it into an essential link for Sino-African economic and trade communications, with more and more people and enterprises visiting Africa and paying with UnionPay cards issued in the island.
At present, UnionPay cards are acceptable in over 40 countries and regions of Africa, especially South Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria and Kenya.
“The collaboration between Cim Finance and UPI has been steadily growing from strength to strength, starting with the launch of the program last year to the launch of UnionPay cards today. I believe this partnership will be further enhanced and bring tangible benefits to both organizations and ultimately, to our cardholders,” said Larry Wang.
The benefits riding on the three new UnionPay credit cards are that there is no annual fee for the first year, up to 45 days interest-free credit and secure payments with Chip-and-Pin technology.
Besides, the Gold and Business credit cards come with free travel and purchase protection insurance.
UnionPay has more than 4.3 billion cards in circulation and is accepted by over 140 countries and regions.
China is considered one of the most important business partners of Mauritius and is the source country for many development funds in the island.
Furthermore, the business relationships between the two countries has strengthened considerably over the past few years. Besides, there has been growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the island, to hit 42,000 arrivals in 2013.
This upward trend is being maintained with an increase of 93.4% in the tourist arrivals from China during the first quarter of 2014, in the wake of the opening of a new flight weekly between Shenzhen City in China and the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam airport in Mauritius.
- By Marie-Lorry Coret and Cecilia Samoisi