First Group of Payment Service Providers to Get Licenses From the Central Bank Within Days

by Terry X Xie 0

At the end of December 2010, thePeople’s Bank of China published a list of the first 17 candidatesto receive a license to offer payment services in China. The bankintroduced a new regulation last year aimed at better regulatingand controlling non-bank payment service providers. A central partof the new regulation is that beginning September 2011, allexisting non-bank payment service providers had to have a licensefrom the central bank or be forced to stop operation over time.Some of the qualifications include capital requirements, accountingsystems, risk control, and system reliabilities, among others. Seerelated discussions in Mercator’s China Payment Report series.

These companies include:

  • Zi-He-Xin(Credit &Trust), the largest prepaid card issuer in Beijing (
  • Kai-Lian-Tong(Open Union),an online payment service provider and the issuer of the Lian-Xinprepaid card (
  • YeePay, a leading providerof e-payment services including online, mobile, and phone-basedpayments (
  • China UnionPay Merchant Services(CUMS), the largest merchant serviceprovider in China, a subsidiary of China UnionPay (CUP), (
  • Beijing Digital Wang-Fu-JinTechnology, a payment service providerproviding merchant services, online payments, and prepaid cardservices, with CUMS being its major stakeholder (
  • KD Money, a financialservices platform operator brokering insurance products andservices as well as gold products ( .
  • ChinaPay, an e-paymentplatform covering online payments, personal finance, ande-commerce, a subsidiary of CUP ( ) .
  • 99Bill, a leading providerof e-payment services including online, mobile, and phone-basedpayments ( ).
  • EasiPay, aleading e-payment provider focused in B2G and B2B payments(
  • All In Pay(Tong-Lian), apayment service provider, also provides outsourcing services to thebanking and financial services industries, (
  • China PNR,a leading e-payment service provider specialized in payments formutual funds and airline ticket booking,(
  • ShengPay, anew payments venture by Shanda Interactive Entertainment, a leadingonline gaming company,(
  • KF Pay(Kuai-Fu-Tong), a leading e-payment service provider also providingmerchant services,(
  • TenPay, thethird largest online payment service provider in China, owned byTencent, the operator of the world’s largest instant messagingsystem QQ(
  • AliPay, thedominant online payment service provider in China with close to 60%market share, a subsidiary of Alibaba(
  • Wang-Fu-Tong, anonline payment gateway, a subsidiary of CUP,(
  • Hainan Xin-Sheng Information Technologies, apayment service provider focused in online payments and merchantservices, a subsidiary of Han Nan Airlines Group, (websiteunavailable).

Not all the 17 companies willreceive a license in the first round, however, as unofficial newssuggests that only 10 licenses will be issued during the firstround. It is widely expected that the three CUP subsidiaries,together with those largest players especially AliPay and TenPaywill be among the first group of licensees. Those who don’t makethe first round will likely be put into a pool together with othernew applicants to be considered in further rounds.