Santander UK, via its merchant acquiring partner Elavon, will from the spring enable its business customers to join the growing European networks of well-known Chinese payment wallet providers, across e-commerce solutions.

Through Elavon, Santander customers will have the option to accept these Chinese payment methods (including UnionPay and other relevant Chinese fintech companies which offer these services) via their own websites from early 2018. Elavon plans to expand this functionality across its POS solutions, which already accept UnionPay, by the end of 2018.

This will be a major boost for business customers looking to export to China with a growing market of 200 million more online retail shoppers projected and online retail sales expected to double to USD 1.7 trillion by 2020.

There has also been significant growth in the number of Chinese expats and students living in the UK, together with the increasing spend of Chinese tourists (average spend per transaction for Chinese shoppers was £922 in 2017, a 23.5 per cent increase from 2016 where average spend per transaction was £746) when visiting the UK. It will now be much easier for them to make purchases in the UK with their existing payment provider.

Michael Vallance, Managing Director of Transaction Banking at Santander Corporate Banking, said: “In working with Elavon to make these exciting Chinese payment solutions available, we are not only enabling UK businesses to accept more types of alternative payments as quickly as possible; we are also giving them access to the Chinese e-commerce market where the demand for quality UK goods is continuing to increase. We can now therefore support UK businesses entering this market without necessarily the need for a physical footprint in China.”

Hannah Fitzsimons, General Manager for Elavon Europe added: “Customers today are looking for a wide range of payment options. They want to pay for the goods and services they buy wherever, whenever and however they choose. With the growing spending power of Chinese consumers, it’s important that businesses offer payment brands which are familiar and accessible to this important target audience. We’re delighted to partner with Santander around this opportunity.”

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Notes to Editors

About Us 
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 806 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 986 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 133 million customers, 13,700 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,619 million in 2017, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year.

Elavon Financial Services DAC, trading as Elavon Merchant Services is authorised by Central Bank of Ireland and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

UnionPay is an international bankcard association that provides high quality, cost-effective and secure payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base. Through extensive cooperation with more than 1,700 members globally, UnionPay is now accepted in 168 countries and regions with cards issued in 48 countries and regions.

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