LONG BEACH, N.Y., March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Planet Payment, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLPM) (LSE:PPT) (LSE:PPTR), a leading international and multi-currency payment processor, today announced the launch of a solution to enable eCommerce merchants in the United States and Canada to accept UnionPay cards. UnionPay is one of the largest card brands in the world, with over 3.5 billion cards issued worldwide. Since the majority of Chinese consumers carry UnionPay cards, in order to effectively sell to the widest possible pool of Chinese consumers, merchants need the ability to accept UnionPay cards on their websites. Planet Payment's solution does just that, by enabling merchants to participate in UPOP – UnionPay's program to authenticate and process UnionPay cards online. UPOP allows merchants to more effectively tap into what is projected to be the world's largest eCommerce market by 2015 (Forbes Magazine, May, 31, 2012). Planet Payment integrated the UPOP into iPay, the Company's payment gateway, providing merchants with the option of creating a customized payment experience using Planet Payment's API or leveraging iPay's Hosted Payment Page for an easy-to-implement solution. Merchants can obtain UPOP directly from Planet Payment as a standalone solution, allowing merchants to gain the benefit of the UPOP solution without disrupting any of their existing processing relationships. Planet Payment will also be adding UPOP to its Shop in Your Currency service, allowing merchants to localize their offering and simplify the shopping experience by enabling Chinese consumers to view pricing and pay in RMB, while the merchant receives settlement in either United States Dollars or Canadian Dollars. UPOP also features an SMS-based authentication system that can help merchants minimize fraudulent transactions. Once a cardholder enters their card details in the payment page, UnionPay sends a PIN Code to the cell phone that is registered to the UnionPay card. The cardholder is then prompted to enter this PIN to complete the transaction -- providing a strong form of customer authentication.