CRDB Bank PLC Launches China UnionPay Service in Tanzania to Bolster Trade with China

Dar es Salaam Tanzania, August 20, 2013–Leading Financial Services provider CRDB Bank PLC Tuesdaylaunched Chinese Bankcard Association’ s China UnionPay Service in a deliberate move to leverage increasing trade between Tanzania and China.

Speaking during the launch, CRDB Bank Managing Director and CEO Dr. Charles Kimei said the DSE listed Bank will, effective this August, accept China UnionPay debit cards at all its ATMs, and Point of Sale (POS) terminals across Tanzania and Burundi in the first phase of adoption.

“We want to make trading with China easy and more effective so that Tanzania can benefit from the industrial prowess and expertise that China has to offer,” said Dr. Kimei.

“The China UnionPay Service will therefore add value to our “China Desk” business unit which we set up earlier this year to facilitate trade transactions to and from China,” he added.

According to the MD, trade relations between the two countries continue to blossom saying the historical Sino-Tanzania political and economic ties have strengthened over the years.“By late 2010, there were more than 300 Chinese companies registered in Tanzania, with total registered capital of USD468 million,” he noted.

Already, CRDB Bank offers both Visa and MasterCard services through its TemboCard debit and credit cards which have seen greater adoption over the past few years. The second phase of adoption of the service will see the bank issue China UnionPay-enabled cards similar to TemboCardVisa and TembocardMasterCard.CRDB Bank’s ATM network and POS terminals in Tanzania account for 20 percent and 30 percent of the local total respectively.

China UnionPay International President Mr.XuLuode, remarking at the launch said the service will go a long way in creating better business relationships and further accentuate the Chinese trade relations with Africa in the coming years. “China is a friend of Africa and launching this service in Tanzania is a clear testament that China and Africa have a bright future together,” Mr Luode said.

It is documented that in 2011, the total trade volume between China and Tanzania stood at more than USD2.15billion, of which China`s export was USD 1.66billion and imports USD488million -  with economic pundits saying the numbers are likely to double in the next few years.

Tanzanian Prime Minister Hon. MizengoPinda gracing the occasion lauded CRDB’s “tenacity” to innovate saying that the Tanzanian population was poised to benefit form greater financial inclusion with the continued reforms in the banking sector.“With the increasing number of banks and growing competition, recruiting new customers and maintaining existing ones is one of the biggest challenges.  An an edge in product innovation and provision of alternative banking channels to the peoplewill be the key differentiating factors, “said Hon. Pinda.

CRDB Bank has in the recent months put on an aggressive approach to the market with a series of innovations and responsive products in what the bank’s leadership terms as deliberate strategic efforts aimed at growing the bank’s market share while driving financial inclusion.

In June this year, the bank pioneered Agency Banking in Tanzania with a view of delivering services to rural areas through the model which has been successful in neighboring Kenya. Similarly, the bank has introduced long term mortgage financing in the Tanzanian market dubbed Jijenge. These efforts, complemented by impressive financial performance in 2012 and preceding yearshave seen the Bank’s shares appreciate by over 128per cent (128%) since the beginning of the year to trade at an all-time high of TZS320 earlier this month.

CEO Dr. Charles Kimei maintains that the Bank remains committed to innovating products that are geared towards enabling its customers benefit from available financial services and enhance their respective capacities through adoption of modern, secure and reliable banking solutions.

About China UnionPay

Established in March 2002, UnionPay is a bankcard association established under the approval of the State Council and the People’s Bank of China. At present, the Shanghai-headquartered UnionPay has about 400 domestic and overseas associate members.
UnionPay has become the central and pivotal part of China’s bankcard industry, and plays an essential role in the industry development. As the bankcard association in China, UnionPay operates an inter-bank transaction settlement system through which the connection and switch between banking systems and the inter-bank, cross-region and cross-border usages of bankcards issued by associate banks could be realized. Based on the system construction and operation as well as the bankcard network, UnionPay actively collaborate with various industrial parties like commercial banks in the efforts to formulate and extend united UnionPay card standards and regulations, create independent bankcard brand, promote the development and application of bankcard, maintain an orderly bankcard acceptance market and prevent bankcard risk

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