Online transaction surges for China UnionPay

Tracy Li
The banking company notes a record 1.38 trillion yuan (US$213 billion) in online transactions over the Spring Festival holiday, thanks partly to people staying at home. 
Tracy Li

Online spending and transactions received a strong boost during the Lunar New Year holiday period, thanks partly to the “stay put” policy, according to data from China UnionPay.

Over the seven days, online transactions via UnionPay hit a record 1.38 trillion yuan (US$213 billion), an increase of 4.8 percent over the same period last year.

The number of transactions made through its mobile app soared 30.7 percent year on year, with online payment services such as money transfer and online ticketing most favored by consumers, China Unionpay said.

Dining, shopping, travel and entertainment were the main drivers of people’s daily consumption during the Spring Festival holiday.

From a regional perspective, Chongqing, Jiangxi Province and Qinghai Province recorded the fastest year-on-year growth in holiday consumption, each with an increase of more than 15 percent.

Transactions in daily necessities, large household appliances, hotel accommodation and catering enjoyed big growth, the banking card association noted.

In terms of daily necessities, for instance, the year-on-year growth rate of consumption in Shanghai, Zhejiang Province and Chongqing ranked among the top in the country.

Unlike the Spring Festival period in previous years, consumption by "locals" jumped by 13.6 percentage points compared with the same period a year ago due to the government’s call to stay put, UnionPay data showed.

Throughout the country, provinces such as Liaoning, Shandong, Gansu and Jiangsu had the highest increase of local consumption compared with the same period last year.

To boost domestic consumption, China UnionPay said it teamed up with banks and nearly 600,000 merchants across the country to offer consumers discounts and other benefits during the holiday.

For cross-border consumption, the transaction volume via UnionPay cards in Macau increased by over 35 percent year on year, and the number of payments via the UnionPay QR code in the city surged by over 60 percent.

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