Mastercard’s joint venture entity, Mastercard NUCC, has received the green light from China’s central bank and the financial regulator to start domestic bankcard clearing in the country. This announcement follows the central bank’s initial approval of Mastercard NUCC’s application in February 2020.
Over the past few years, Mastercard has built a cross-border portfolio in China, including millions of bank cards and acceptance points spread across the country. This infrastructure aims to enhance global connectivity and catalyse cross-border and inbound commerce in China, according to a statement from Mastercard.
Earlier this year, Mastercard enabled inbound acceptance through popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and Tencent. This allows international cardholders to pay “safely and conveniently like a local” at millions of QR payment points around China.
China is an almost cashless society, with $434tn in electronic transactions annually.
Michael Miebach, chief executive officer of Mastercard, said: “We are pleased to have reached this milestone with our local partner NUCC.” Miebach highlighted the potential benefits for China, its consumers and businesses, aligning with Mastercard’s broader missions of fostering an inclusive digital economy that unlocks potential for everyone.
Ling Hai, chairman of the board of Mastercard NUCC and co-president of international markets at Mastercard, affirmed the company’s commitment to being an active partner in China. The focus is on expanding the issuance and acceptance of Mastercard-branded products, ultimately benefiting local businesses and consumers.
Hai said: “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.”