UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China's UnionPay, the country's largest bank card payment processor, announced Monday that it has entered into strategic cooperation with the Portuguese bank, Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP).
BCP will be the first European bank to issue UnionPay cards.
UnionPay is used in 160 countries and regions and cards are issued in over 40 countries and regions, said Wang Lixin, deputy president of UnionPay International.
"Currently, UnionPay cards are mainly issued in the Asia Pacific region. We are stepping up localization in Europe. Besides BCP, we are also working with financial organizations in Germany and France," Wang said.
BCP operates in countries including Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, Mozambique and Angola. In 2016, Shanghai-based Fosun became the largest share holder of BCP after acquiring a 16.7 percent stake in the Portuguese lender.
Fosun's financial arm said it will help more Chinese companies to develop payment, investment and loan business with overseas partners.
Gu Xiaoxu, president of Fosun Financial, said the cooperation is an important step of financial services developing under the Belt and Road Initiative.
China is Portugal's largest trade partner in Asia. Chinese enterprises are investing more in Portugal and an increasing number of Chinese people are living in the country.