China is finally preparing to put an end to China UnionPay's monopoly on clearing bank card transactions in a move that could open up a huge market to Visa and MasterCard.
The country's State Council made an announcement on the change in policy after a meeting today, according to Reuters, but failed to give details.
China has been promising to loosen UnionPay's grip on the market since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the US firms were being discriminated against in the country. The WTO entered the fray after the US government made a complaint.
Currently, all foreign card companies have to use UnionPay's network when accepting yaun payments, handing over a cut for the privilege.
In a statement given to Bloomberg, UnionPay says that it supports the government's decision and will compete "fairly" by improving its products and services.