UnionPay International has appointed Havas Group China as its agency of record for its media business following a competitive three-way pitch.
UnionPay was founded in Beijing in 2002 and less than 15 years later it was responsible for nearly 55% of the number of new cards issued, more than Mastercard or Visa.
Its International subsidiary was established in 2014 to specifically cater for Chinese people living, working and studying abroad. Last year, it made a move into the UK market after inking a partnership with Barclays Bank that would allow 110,000 UK merchants to accept UnionPay from summer 2019.
Globally, it now has over seven billion users and has formed partnerships with more than 1,800 institutions.
Effective immediately, Havas has taken on responsibility for improving the International division's profile and awareness.
“UnionPay International has quietly grown to become one of the leading payment networks in the world and we are delighted to partner with them. The Havas value-proposition is focussed on building meaningful brands by adopting a multi-disciplinary strategic approach to client briefs,” said Karl Wu, chief executive, Havas Group Greater China.
“We are looking forward to working with UnionPay International to further their growth story and reinforce the brand.”
A factor in the landing the account was the tie between Havas and the other brands within parent company Vivendi’s arsenal, including Universal Music Group, Canal+, and mobile gaming company Gameloft.
Wu added that it will aim to “amplify” the UnionPay brand “through new and unique opportunities” in the network.