Mastercard JV in China Initiates Bank Card Clearing Operations

Mastercard JV in China Initiates Bank Card Clearing Operations

Thursday saw the initiation of bank card clearing operations by Mastercard JV in China, following approval from the People’s Bank of China in November 2023.

This inauguration positions Mastercard as the second foreign bank card clearing entity to enter the Chinese market, following American Express in 2020. Analysts interpret this move as indicative of China’s steadfast commitment to opening its financial sector to the global arena.

The endeavor aims to foster a more open and globally integrated landscape for China’s payment and clearing services. It is anticipated to offer varied and distinctive services to financial stakeholders, thereby advancing the structural reform of the payment industry.

In the preceding year, China’s central bank, in conjunction with the National Financial Regulatory Administration, sanctioned Mastercard NetsUnion Information Technology (Beijing) Co., a collaboration between Mastercard and NetsUnion Clearing Corp (NUCC), to conduct bank card clearing activities within the country.

Per the official Mastercard website, the JV has commenced processing payments made in China via Mastercard cards issued by local banks. Moreover, it has confirmed the acceptance of Mastercard-branded cards for both domestic and international transactions.

Michael Miebach, Mastercard’s CEO, remarked, “This marks another significant milestone for Mastercard… Our objective is to streamline the payment experience for Chinese Mastercard cardholders domestically and abroad,” in a statement conveyed to the Global Times on Thursday.

Ling Hai, Chairman of the Board of Mastercard NetsUnion and President of Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa for Mastercard, asserted, “In order to provide enhanced choices and value for Chinese consumers and businesses of all scales, we will broaden the availability of Mastercard-branded products, facilitate the inclusion of millions of new acceptance points nationwide, and ensure smooth and secure payment experiences on a daily basis.”

NUCC has reaffirmed its commitment to providing comprehensive assistance for Mastercard NetsUnion’s endeavors, under the supervision and endorsement of Chinese regulatory bodies.

To facilitate seamless and secure payments for Chinese cardholders domestically and internationally, Mastercard NetsUnion will collaborate with local acquirers to expand its acceptance network within China, further fortifying its extensive network of over 130 million acceptance points globally.