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AmEx Becomes First Foreign Firm to Do Bank Card Clearing in China
Published on: 2020-09-01
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American Express received approval to start bank card clearing services in China, making it the first foreign payments network to be allowed to process local currency transactions in one of the world’s largest markets.

The People’s Bank of China granted a network clearing license to American Express’s China joint venture, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Services, the central bank said in a statement on Saturday. The company, which won initial approval in 2018, is required to start the clearing service within six months, according to the statement.

It underscores China’s commitment to opening its US$45 trillion financial markets this year, in a bid to attract foreign capital and support growth.

The bank card clearing network being built by the joint venture will process both online and offline payment transactions, and the company will cooperate with leading Chinese mobile wallet services providers, according to a statement from American Express.

AmEx will face large domestic competitors and a well-developed market for mobile payments. Mobile transactions topped 190 trillion yuan (US$27 trillion) in China in 2018, making it the world’s largest such market, according to iResearch. Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’s WeChat Pay are the dominant firms.

首家外资银行卡清算机构揭牌

8月28日,连通(杭州)技术服务有限公司在杭州揭牌,标志着连通公司正式开业运营。

据介绍,连通公司是美国运通(American Express)和连连数字科技有限公司在我国境内发起设立的合资公司。今年6月13日,中国人民银行公布,中国人民银行会同银保监会审查通过了连通(杭州)技术服务有限公司提交的银行卡清算机构开业申请,并向其核发银行卡清算业务许可证。获得许可后,该公司可在我国境内拓展成员机构、授权发行和受理“美国运通”品牌的银行卡。这标志着美国运通成为国内首家,也是目前唯一一家获得银行卡清算业务许可证的外卡组织。

8月份开始,连通公司已经开始和国内16家银行、3家移动支付平台及7家支付机构开展合作,有序开展银行卡清算业务。目前,已经有多家银行推出了美国运通人民币信用卡。

近年来,我国银行卡清算市场对外开放的步伐明显加快。除美国运通外,另一外卡组织——万事达成立的合资公司万事网联,其筹备申请也已经通过,并将在一年筹备期内完成筹备工作后,依法定程序向央行申请开业。

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