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Cards

Visa applies for direct bank-card clearing access in China

Wednesday 16 August 2017 | 01:21 PM CET

Visa has filed an application with the People’s Bank of China for a bank-card clearing license in China.

Visa is the first overseas card payment company to apply for a bank-card clearing license after China opened its market to foreign card payment companies in June 2015.

With a total market value of over USD 6.84 trillion, China is very attractive to overseas players. However, foreign card companies did not receive permission to establish domestic payment clearing operations. Besides gaining a license, overseas companies will also have to face serious competition from China UnionPay, which currently holds a market monopoly.

Visa’s rival, Mastercard has also expressed interest in access to the Chinese market. Mastercard’s president and chief executive officer said in July 2017 that the company is looking at options for a joint venture, or a 100% Mastercard application, and expects to make a decision on this and file soon.

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