China's lone credit card issuer breaks into RP mart
() - October 18, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - China UnionPay (CUP), the world’s fifth largest credit card company, is breaking into the Philippine market as it launches its local operations in partnership with Bankard Inc.

Bankard president Oscar Biason said in the next three to six months, they will issue a CUP-branded credit card targeting Chinese nationals frequently traveling to the Philippines for business, leisure or study.

He added that the agreement would allow over 1.2 billion CUP cardholders to use their cards while traveling to the Philippines and shop in Bankard-accredited merchants.

“With more Chinese tourists visiting Philippines each year, retailers who offer CUP card acceptance facilities will be able to attract new customers and stronger sales from these visiting Chinese tourists,” said Helen Dee, chairman of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., the parent firm of Bankard.

CUP, the lone national bank card payment network in China, was established in Shanghai in 2002 with the approval of the State Council and the People’s Bank of China to serve as the country’s main bank card payment association. It was tasked to spearhead efforts to establish unified standards and regulations in China’s card payment industry and operate an inter-bank transaction settlement system.

It now has a cardholder base of 1.2 billion, generating annual transactions worth about 4.6 trillion renminbi (about $674 billion).

Bankard, meanwhile, has over 10 percent share of the country’s credit card market, with more than 6,000 accredited merchant establishments. — Ted P. Torres

BANK OF CHINA BANKARD BANKARD INC CARD CUP HELEN DEE OSCAR BIASON RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORP STATE COUNCIL AND THE PEOPLE TED P
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