As a result of two responses to my last message, I contacted Khun Waraporn in Bangkok to see if further clarification could be offered … the following is a slightly edited version of what she wrote in hopes that it will help in particular Bangkok Bank clients;
“Thank you for your email and sad to hear that some of the CEC members have experienced some difficulties using our UnionPay Card system. Due to senior management decision, we believe that they would have reason to switch to the UnionPay network.
I am aware that overseas ATM cash withdrawal using a UnionPay debit card incurs a lower commission fee and no currency conversion fee when you are abroad and PIN-based authentication makes transactions and their account more secure especially in high-value transactions. There is no commission fee charged for swiping UnionPay card at participating merchants (unless otherwise stipulated in local regulations). Issuing banks may charge a certain amount of commission for cash withdrawal at ATMs by UnionPay cards. A small surcharge may also be imposed by some ATM owners in some countries. Compare with other bankcard networks, the 1%-2% currency conversion fee is waived when paying or withdrawing cash by UnionPay card via UnionPay network overseas.
Acceptance of UnionPay cards overseas network coverage has been extended to many countries and regions frequently visited by the Chinese, including Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, France, Germany. UnionPay cards do not allow for overseas counter transfer or withdrawal or cash withdrawal from POS terminals.
For Point of Sale (POS), the cardholder is required to sign his/her name on the signature strip at the back of debit cards. When swiping a UnionPay card, please sign on the sales slip so that the cashier can verify the cardholder’s identity. He/she must input their PIN while swiping the card no matter if it is a debit card. If there is no PIN set for the card, press “Confirm”, or input the 6-digit pin code to complete the payment. When paying with UnionPay card (card number starting with “62”) that has a present PIN at overseas merchants, the transactions can be authorized by means of “signature+PIN”, otherwise transactions can be authorized by signature only.
Due to the low-costs and safety, UnionPay card is becoming more and more accepted by ATM operators, the number of affected ATMs will decrease correspondingly in time. The list of the global acceptance network has covered the entire nation, both cities and rural areas, and reaches 162 countries and regions – click for list.
Therefore, we have also reported to senior management regarding this matter and will continue to find solutions to assist our expat customers going forward who frequently travel using debit card while overseas.We will keep you informed as updates are available.
Thank you once again for your continued banking with Bangkok Bank and we apologize for any inconvenience that may occur to your CEC members.”