Standard Bank is set to allow thousands of Chinese tourists who visit South Africa to withdraw cash from its 4800 ATMs and make payments through its point-of-sale terminal network in South Africa, following the finalisation of a strategic partnership with China UnionPay (CUP).

China UnionPay is China’s only bankcard association and interbank network.

Craig Bond, chief executive at Standard Bank China, said: “We are delighted that we will now be able to assist the thousands of Chinese tourists that visit South Africa every year. This partnership represents Standard Bank’s first cooperation with a Chinese partner in the retail banking sector and there is no doubt that it will help further cement the growing ties between China and South Africa.

“The cooperation agreement was even more significant for Standard Bank given that its strategic partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) was a major shareholder of China UnionPay.

“The strong cooperation between Standard Bank and CUP would ensure that all Chinese visiting South Africa would have access to cash from Standard Bank’s extensive ATM network throughout South Africa. In addition, Chinese CUP cardholders would also be able to transact at retail outlets that have Standard Bank point-of-sale devices.”

Cai Jianbo, first executive vice-president at China UnionPay, said: “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. We are very pleased to be partnering with Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank, to launch the CUP card acceptance business.”