Mastercard has finally secured formal approval to begin domestic payment processing in China, enabling the US firm to issue yuan-denominated banks cards in the country.
The entry of foreign card schemes into China's multi-trillion dollar payments market has been hard fought over the years. Back in June 2015, the country eased restrictions on overseas firms obtaining licences by setting up units or acquiring a local company.
At the time Mastercard formed a majority-owned joint venture NUCC Information Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd, in collaboration with NetsUnion Clearing Corporation (NUCC).
In February 2020, the People's Bank of China principally approved the application from Mastercard NUCC to begin formal preparations to set up a domestic bankcard clearing institution.
Since that time, the JV has established standards, rules, structures and infrastructure in line with local regulatory requirements, and obtained the required certificates for a local switch business.
Now, the venture has received formal approval from the PBOC and the National Administration of Financial Regulation to commence domestic bankcard clearing activity.
"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,” says Michael Miebach, CEO, Mastercard.