MARKETS | Staff Reporter, China

Chinese banks’ credit cards finding wider acceptance in Africa

China UnionPay now available in Tanzania.

CRDB Bank, Tanzania’s largest bank by assets, has launched Chinese Bankcard Association’s China UnionPay Service. Effective August, CRDB will accept China UnionPay debit cards at all its automated teller machines and point of sale terminals across Tanzania and Burundi in the first phase of adoption.

CRDB said it wants to make trading with China easier and more effective so that Tanzania can benefit from the industrial prowess and expertise that China has to offer.

Earlier this year, CRDB set up a “China Desk” business unit to facilitate trade transactions to and from China. The bank expects China UnionPay Service to add value to the China Desk.

CRDB estimates that in late 2010, there were over 300 Chinese companies registered in Tanzania with total registered capital of US$468 million.

CRDB Bank also offers both Visa and MasterCard services through its TemboCard debit and credit cards. The second phase of adoption of the service will see the bank issue China UnionPay-enabled cards similar to TemboCardVisa and TembocardMasterCard.

In 2011, total trade volume between China and Tanzania stood at US$2.15 billion, of which China`s exports were US$1.66 billion while imports stood at US$488 million.

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