It will be a long and laborious process for international card networks to set up their business in China card market, but MasterCard sees the online world as a low-hanging fruit that can’t be missed.
The network last week signed a memorandum of understanding with CITIC Bank for strategic cooperation in the digital payment market both within and outside China.
The two parties aim to jointly develop and promote innovative products and services including Quick Response” (QR) code services, and collaborate to provide a safe and efficient payment experience for domestic and overseas cardholders and merchants.
MasterCard and Visa currently have relationships with Chinese banks, including CITIC Bank, to issue international cards co-branded with China UnionPay. The cards work as a MasterCard/Visa card outside of China, but are treated as a CUP card in the domestic market. Single-branded MasterCard and Visa cards have yet to get the approval from the regulators for issuance in China. But progress is expected in that area later this year.
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