By Aimee Chanthadavong

UnionPay has launched an initiative to help Australian retailers reach Chinese consumers visiting the country.

The only bankcard association in China is distributing 300 logo stickers to stores and restaurants in Sydney’s CBD to help encourage Chinese customers to walk through the door, as displaying the logo has proven be a highly effective way to attract them. 

According to UnionPay, retailers can increase their sales by 20 times with an average transaction size of $800 and so it’s necessary to cater to the growing number of Chinese customers.

“Retailers are aware that the Chinese tourist market is incredibly significant, however many of them are unsure of how to connect with and reach these consumers,” a UnionPay spokesperson told RetailBiz.

“One of the most important aspects of reaching these consumers is creating a Chinese-friendly destination where they feel comfortable, and part of this is advocating that they can use their UnionPay card in-store. UnionPay is a familiar brand for Chinese tourists, and every person in China owns at least one UnionPay card.

“NAB and Commonwealth Bank both currently accept UnionPay, but many retailers aren’t aware of this and therefore can’t reap the benefits.”
Visitors from China make up a large portion of Australia’s tourism economy and are expected to spend up to $9 billion in Australia by 2020. In 2012, the biggest single transaction recorded by a UnionPay cardholder was $560,000.

To further encourage this initiative, UnionPay is running a competition until Wednesday 4 December, inviting retailers to share a photo of their displayed sticker on social media with the hashtag #UnionPayAU for the chance to win a free listing on the UnionPay website.

The spokesperson also said retailers need to understand the Chinese culture and the Chinese consumer.

“Having a staff member that speaks Mandarin or Cantonese allows retailers to communicate to Chinese tourists more effectively,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s also important to keep up-to-date with Tourism Australia and their China 2020 Strategic Plan. Tourism Australian and the Australian Tourism Export Council held a training program in 2013 called the China Ready Training Program, in an effort to enable Australian businesses to have the resources, knowledge, understanding and capacity to serve the Chinese market.”