China UnionPay Buys Jetco Stake as It Expands Hong Kong Presence

China UnionPay Co. acquired a stake in Hong Kong’s Joint Electronic Teller Services Ltd. as the bank-card payments processor seeks a greater presence outside the mainland.

UnionPay has become a strategic investor in Jetco, also joining the automated teller machine network operator’s board, the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday, without disclosing the size of the stake or price. The two companies will cooperate on mobile payments with a new service called “Quickpass” by the end of 2015 in Hong Kong, it said.

UnionPay is grabbing market share from Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. outside the mainland as Chinese residents increase spending abroad through credit and debit cards. UnionPay, which was established in 2002 by the State Council and the central bank with shareholders including major Chinese banks, has more than 4.6 billion bank cards in circulation, with a network across more than 150 countries.

Jetco, which was established in 1982 by five banks including Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., now has more than 30 member banks in Hong Kong and Macau, according to its website.

— With assistance by Helen Sun, and Jun Luo

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