Mastercard, Visa and American Express (AmEx) are set to gain easier access to China under a trade agreement signed between the US and China.
China will take only up to 90 days to consider applications from the US card giants, reported Bloomberg.
Visa intends to mark its China foray with a long-term focus. The firm also intends to develop digital payments in China through the Beijing Olympics that is scheduled for 2022.
“Visa is working closely with the Chinese government, including the People’s Bank of China, throughout the application process for a bank card clearing institution license,” the firm noted.
The move was also welcomed by Mastercard, which set up a China venture in March in association with NetsUnion Clearing. The move is pending regulatory nod.
Mastercard spokesman Seth Eisen said: “We continue to make every effort to secure the requisite license to be able to operate in China domestically. This deal is a step forward in that process.”
In 2015, China opened the bank-card clearing market to foreign players.
Recently, AmEx obtained the go-ahead from the Chinese central bank to start operations in the country.
“We’re pleased with the progress we’re making to become the first foreign network to receive a clearing and settlement licence to operate in mainland China,” AmEx spokeswoman Leah Gerstner noted.
Moreover, the US pledged not to discriminate against China UnionPay in the agreement.