YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon, July 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Bank of Equatorial Guinea BANGE and UnionPay International jointly announced today, the first issuance of UnionPay International-GIMAC co-branded debit cards in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC Region). This significant development will offer the public affordable international financial payment access to a world-class payment network. While BANGE Bank is the first bank to issue UnionPay-GIMAC co-branded cards, UnionPay International was the first to partner with GIMAC by offering cutting-edge digital-based payments services in the region.
The UnionPay-GIMAC co-branded cards provide a hybrid solution in which the local and regional transactions are processed by GIMAC whilst international transactions are processed by UnionPay International.
GIMAC (Groupement Interbancaire Monétique de l’Afrique Centrale), payment switch is fully UnionPay international certified to directly issue UnionPay International cards and offers digital payment solutions to members in six countries in the CEMAC region comprising Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The partnership between UnionPay International and GIMAC was initiated in 2016. Phase one of the partnership was to establish payment infrastructure and an ecosystem for the CEMAC region, including ATM, Point of Sales, Contactless and E-commerce acquiring. The phase is to embark on the issuance of co-branded UnionPay-GIMAC cards within the territory, accelerating financial inclusion of the region. The third phase comprises the rolling out of various innovative payment solutions to accelerate digital transformation and satisfy consumers’ changing needs in the region.
Mr. Valentin Mbozoo, the General Manager of GIMAC stated, “We are excited about the opportunities the UnionPay International partnership brings to the region and further payment innovations to support local financial inclusion. This partnership paves the way for local banks in the CEMAC zone to offer international cards to their customers in a cost-effective manner.”
“GIMAC is a significant partner of ours, to extend our business in the CEMAC region, the fastest-growing economic zone in Africa,” said Mr. Asad Burney, Head of UnionPay International Africa Region. “We are the first in this market to partner with GIMAC and offer cutting-edge digital-based payments in the region. UnionPay as a global payment network is looking forward to participating in developing this economy,” he added.
With over 180 million UnionPay cards issued in 75 countries and regions outside mainland China, UnionPay has expanded its global acceptance network to 180 countries and regions in recent years. At present, UnionPay cards are widely accepted in Africa across all sectors, effectively meeting the diverse purchasing needs of UnionPay cardholders visiting and living on the continent. UnionPay cards are issued in 13 African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, eSwatini, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius. The Nilson Report (Issue 1154) shows that UnionPay ranks first among all card schemes in card issuance and transaction volume worldwide. UnionPay International has launched various innovative payment products in Africa in response to the worldwide digital transformation and financial inclusion.