The China joint venture (JV) of Mastercard has secured the in-principle clearance from the country’s central bank to launch a bank card clearing institution in China.
Mastercard NUCC Information Technology (Beijing) – Mastercard’s JV with NetsUnion Clearing – will have to conclude preparation work in a year before applying for formal approval.
Welcoming the decision of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Mastercard president and CEO Ajay Banga said: “China is a vital market for us and we have reiterated our unwavering commitment to helping drive a safer, more inclusive and seamless payments ecosystem for Chinese consumers and businesses.
“We remain focused on working with the Chinese government and local partners to grow the overall payments infrastructure.”
The move follows a trade agreement signed between the US and China. One of the agreement’s provisions was China’s commitment to consider applications from American card giants within 90 days.
Earlier, the Chinese payments market was a tough arena for foreign players, who complained that entry into the market is time-consuming.
China opened its payments market to foreign competition in 2015. The country’s payment market is currently dominated by state-owned UnionPay.
Recently, AmEx obtained the approval of the Chinese central bank to begin bank card clearing business in the country. The company awaits a final nod on the same.