DURBAN - Standard Bank has launched the UnionPay card – available in both virtual and physical form on its Shyft app – to South African account holders.
Standard Bank is the only South African issuer of the UnionPay card.
The Shyft app allows for pre-loaded rands to be exchanged into multiple currencies and then loaded onto a physical UnionPay card. Cardholders can fix their exchange rate before travelling, which eliminates rate fluctuation, and can top-up when their funds run out. Transactions can be made virtually or physically either at South African merchants or in China. If the physical card is lost or stolen, it can be cancelled within a few steps on the app.
Travellers no longer need to worry about exchanging foreign currency at a physical branch or risk carrying cash on them to make purchases – they simply transact with a swipe of their Standard Bank UnionPay card. Standard Bank’s Shyft app is free to download, and while charges apply for certain transactions, they are lower than what travelers typically pay when making purchases with the few cards that are accepted in China.
As UnionPay hosts most card transactions in China, the introduction of their card is set to significantly improve the way South Africans pay for items and services in China and Asia.