Acculynk introduces online security for China’s UnionPay debit cards

Travel site Airbnb is the first U.S. merchant to offer Acculynk’s PaySecure

Paul Demery

Acculynk, a provider of software for securing online payments, has launched a new way for online merchants to accept payments made with China’s popular UnionPay PIN debit cards.

Acculynk has upgraded its PaySecure International secure transaction system to work with UnionPay, whose brand appears on some 3 billion payment cards, Acculynk CEO Ashish Bahl says. “By enabling both in-country and cross-border purchases, we enable the borderless customer, the customer who is seeking to purchase what they want, when they want to, regardless of borders.” 

To use the PaySecure system for accepting Union Pay PIN debit transactions, online merchants deploy a PaySecure International graphical PIN pad display that appears on the consumer’s screen along with the image of a shopper’s debit card (with the account number hidden) after an online shopper clicks to pay with a UnionPay International debit card. Without having to leave the merchant’s checkout page, the shopper enters her PIN, or personal identification number, into the virtual PIN pad; Acculynk then forwards the encrypted PIN to the cardholder’s bank in China, which verifies the available funds in the cardholder’s account. The bank then forwards the currency to UnionPay, China’s primary debit card network, which converts the currency to the merchant’s local currency before sending it to Acculynk, Bahl says. Acculynk then forwards the transaction value minus its own fees to the merchant.

The PaySecure system scrambles the figures on the virtual PIN pad after each number is entered to guard against keylogging (capturing a person’s keystrokes) or other methods that criminals may use to steal PINs, Acculynk says. It adds that the PaySecure system doesn’t store PINs on the merchant’s site.

Acculynk says the first online merchant in the United States to offer PaySecure for UnionPay PIN debit transactions is Airbnb, a web-only travel services company that provides an e-marketplace for finding and booking accommodations through the world, including apartments rented by homeowners. Airbnb features more than 500,000 listings of accommodations worldwide, and its most popular destinations include several cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, the company says on its web site, Airbnb.com. Efforts to get a comment from Airbnb were unsuccessful.

Shanghai-based UnionPay says its cards are accepted in 140 countires in addition to China.


Acculynk, Airbnb.com, Ashish Bahl, PaySecure, PaySecure International, UnionPay, UnionPay PIN debit