Chinese financial services company, UnionPay, also known as the Chinese version of Visa and Mastercard has signed a deal with Korean payment provider Danal to launch a new digital card that offers cryptocurrency as a payment option.
According to the details of the partnership, the virtual card will be available by the end of 2020 and will be accessible through Paycoin, Danal’s virtual asset wallet. The partnership will enable Paycoin users to use their cryptocurrency at more than 30 million UnionPay merchants worldwide.
Danal explained in a statement on Tuesday that Paycoin users will now be able to use their cryptocurrency even in Mainland China. The new virtual card will support fiat money as well as Paycoin for top-ups and payments.
Paycoin has more than 760,000 registered users and is currently listed on several crypto exchanges including Upbit, Liquid, Coinone, Korea, and Gdac, according to the details mentioned on its official website.
Danal launched Paycoin in 2019 to reduce the time for cross-border transactions with lower fees through a blockchain-based virtual asset, the company explained in a blog post.
In a given to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Park Sang-Man, CEO at Danal, said: “The prepaid card service will eliminate the inconvenience of foreign exchange when people travel overseas and alleviate their concerns about credit card theft. Danal is on the way to making its service accessible globally.”
Challenging Chinese Market
News of the UnionPay deal appeared despite China’s hard stance on cryptocurrencies. In recent years, China launched a crackdown on including a ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading activities. The partnership deal will provide an opportunity for other international players to explore different options within the Chinese crypto market. Despite all the challenges for decentralized cryptocurrencies, China is pushing towards the digitalization of the economy through a central bank-backed digital Yuan.