The legacy banking and financial services ecosystem can be described by many adjectives however, “easy” is not one of them. I know, I worked in the legacy system for many, many years.

Since becoming CEO of Uphold in June 2015, I have been singularly, consistently and deeply focused on ensuring our company strives – on a daily basis to make the financial lives of our members “easy”. Our vision is to enable anyone, anywhere to move, hold, convert and transact any form of money or commodity, instantly, securely and for free in the cloud.

Today, I’m excited to announce we take another step toward realizing that goal. We’re launching another “World’s first” being the first U.S. based financial services company to successfully provide and operate services in China since the country opened its $7 trillion bank card market to foreign players on June 1, 2015. China, the world’s second-largest economy, is one of Uphold’s most important markets. Online transactions are booming in China, boosted by the proliferation of hundreds of millions of smartphones that are being used for everything from paying for taxis, meals even when purchasing goods at high street stores.

From today Uphold members in China can now use their China UnionPay card to load funds to their Uphold wallet.

But it gets better. Now, individuals, businesses and charities can easily bridge the financial services gap to China – avoiding the significant costs – by building amazing products and services for their customers via our open API, Uphold Connect. In addition to direct and convenient bank access in the United States via ACH and across the European Union and the United Kingdom via SEPA & UK Faster Payments which we already provide, innovators can now create applications, products and services that accept China UnionPay.

I’m deeply proud that we are offering our members China UnionPay, the largest bank card association in China. They are established and forward thinking and we now offer their customers a secure, safe and transparent suite of world class financial services to make their lives easier.

Stay connected with us. In the next few weeks we will be sharing exciting announcements including: a ‘game-changing’ new product, currency, service offerings, new mobile applications and payment method and options; giving our members innovative and unique ways to access and use their funds.

Join us today. We’re just getting started!

Onwards, Upwards and a very Happy New Year!

Anthony Watson

President and Chief Executive Officer

As always, please feel free to send any questions or comments to me directly via twitter: @AnthonyWatson.

Membership, Eligibility & Fees

What’s FREE

  • Uphold membership is FREE
  • Uphold members transfer to and between other Uphold members for FREE, with no minimum or maximum obligation amounts or transaction volume restrictions.

Pricing & Fees

  • 3.8% fee to fund Uphold account(s) with China UnionPay (per transaction, daily transaction limitations apply)
  • For more details, see Uphold’s FAQ.


  • To be eligible to open an Uphold account and become a verified member, China UnionPay customers must present a Chinese Passport or Chinese National ID card.

Capital Controls

  • Onboard of any funds to Uphold is in full compliance with Chinese state capital controls and requirements