* China UnionPay customers can transact in S.Africa
* S'Bank looking to expand service to Africa, Argentina
JOHANNESBURG, April 13 Standard Bank (SBKJ.J),
Africa's biggest bank by assets, will allow customers of China
UnionPay (CUP) to transact at its South African retail outlets
as it seeks to capitalise on thousands of Chinese tourists
visiting the country each year.
Standard Bank, 20 percent owned by the Industrial and
Commercial bank of China (ICBC) (601398.SS) (1398.HK), said on
Tuesday it had entered into a partnership with CUP which would
allow its consumers to withdraw money at Standard Bank ATMs and
make payments through its point-of-sale devices.
CUP is China's only bankcard association and interbank
network and was established in March 2002. The deal gives its
customers access to over 4,800 Standard Bank ATMs in South
"China UnionPay attaches great importance to the African
market. As the African economic centre, South Africa is also our
bridge to the rest of Africa," Cai Jianbo, first executive
vice-president of China UnionPay, said.
Standard Bank Group Deputy Chief Executive and CEO of
Standard Bank South Africa Sim Tshabalala said the bank also
hoped to expand the service to its other African operations and
to its Argentina business, but did not say when it would do so.
South African banks are increasingly looking to broaden
their network and services elsewhere in Africa and China is also
eager to establish a footprint on the continent through various
partnerships, including banking and mining deals.
(Reporting by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)