JCB, a major global payment brand, and JCB International, JCB's international subsidiary, and MBF Cards (M'sia) Sdn Bhd (MBF Cards), Malaysia's largest non-bank backed credit card company, announced today an agreement to expand JCB card acceptance in Malaysia.
MBF Cards will start opening its merchant network to JCB this month including new merchant acquisitions, targeting to sign-on approximately 10,000 JCB merchants within the first 12 months. This will be derived from its existing 26,000 merchants and new merchant acquisitions, further cementing the card issuers' reputation as one with the largest network and merchants. With this arrangement, JCB merchants in Malaysia will have doubled in a few years, significantly increasing the level of convenience for JCB cardmembers.
"This is another epoch-making alliance for JCB in Malaysia", said Kunio Yoshizawa, President & COO of JCB International in the press conference held at 17th January in Kuala Lumpur. "JCB considers Malaysia one of its target markets from the card acceptance perspective, as there is an increasing number of JCB card-holding travelers to the region."
Since the establishment in 1987, MBF Cards holds the largest merchant network numbered at over 26,000 in Malaysia. Huan Woon Han, President of MBF Cards said, "This alliance creates a win-win situation between us. With the burgeoning Japanese population here in Malaysia and a further influx of global citizens expected, particularly from Japan and its neighboring countries in conjunction with 'Visit Malaysia Year 2007' we believe JCB cards will contribute to our merchants in Malaysia."
According to the Japan National Tourist Organization, more than 340 thousand Japanese travelers visited Malaysia in 2005, an approximate 12% increase on the previous year. As Malaysia is celebrating a 'Visit Malaysia Year 2007', and its 50th anniversary of independence, JCB focuses its attention on these factors and anticipates the sharp increase in transactions that JCB cardmembers generate in this region.
"The timing of our agreement is perfect," Yoshizawa continued, "Through this arrangement with MBF Cards, JCB cardmembers visiting Malaysia will soon enjoy much wider acceptance to a greater variety of merchants, including hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and souvenir shops. JCB has more than 59 million cardmembers mainly in Asia. As well as Japan, I suppose China, where the numbers of JCB cardmembers is rapidly increasing, is another market Malaysia could see strong potential for sales transaction. I believe that MBF Cards' merchants will also benefit from JCB's solid cardmembers base."
JCB has been building alliances with major banks and financial institutions to expand JCB cardmembers and merchants in Malaysia for 20 years. In 1985, JCB signed a licensee agreement with HSBC in Malaysia, soon followed by the partnerships with Malayan Banking Berhad, CIMB Bank Berhad and Public Bank Berhad. As well as enhancing acceptance network for JCB card-holding tourist from outside of the country, JCB is currently developing issuing network in Malaysia. In order to establish another solid cardmember base in Asia, JCB continues to develop both issuing and acquiring business concurrently.