Mastercard to roll out domestic bankcard clearing in China

Mastercard has received formal approval from China’s central bank and financial watchdog to begin domestic bankcard clearing in the country.

The payment processing giant said that in February 2020, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) principally approved the application from its joint venture entity Mastercard NUCC Information Technology to start formal preparations to set up a domestic bankcard clearing institution in China.

Since then, Mastercard’s joint venture has established standards, rules, structures, and infrastructure in line with local regulatory requirements and has obtained the required certificates for a local switch business, it added.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone with our local partner NUCC,” said Michael Miebach, chief executive of Mastercard. “Mastercard's deeper participation in the Chinese market will benefit the country, its consumers and its businesses, while simultaneously boosting our company’s mission of connecting and powering an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone and unlocks priceless possibilities for all.”

Mastercard says it has built a "strong cross-border portfolio" in China over the past few years, including tens of millions of bank cards and millions of acceptance points across the country.

Earlier this year, it launched inbound acceptance via Alipay and Tencent wallets so that international cardholders could pay like a local at tens of millions of QR payment points when traveling around China.

“Mastercard NUCC is committed to being in China as an active partner, working to expand issuance and acceptance of Mastercard-branded products for the benefit of local businesses and consumers," said Ling Hai, chairman of the board of Mastercard NUCC and co-president, international markets at Mastercard. "As we ramp up our domestic operations, we look forward to working with customers and partners in China to harness technologies and innovations in a way that empowers local businesses and delivers the best payments experiences to people every day."

Earlier this month, Mastercard announced it is partnering with face recognition tech company NEC Corporation to advance in-store biometric payments.

The card issuer said that through the partnership, the same technology used to unlock phones or tablets will soon be used at in-store checkouts in the Asia Pacific region.

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