99Bill and China Merchants Bank team for online banking push

Source: 99Bill Corporation

99Bill Corporation, the leading payment service provider and the first company in China offering email and mobile phone number based online payment platform and solutions, has formed a strategic alliance with China Merchants Bank, one of the leading and innovative commercial banks in China, to jointly promote the online payment and online banking services in China.

The strategic partnership will enable 99Bill to expand its leading online payment services to tens of millions of China Merchant Bank's customers. Meanwhile, the alliance will also help China Merchants Bank secure more high- end customers, and increase the usage of its online banking services.

The rapid growth of the Internet industry in China creates ever-expanding demands for easy-to-use banking and online payment services. According to a survey by Nielsen, only one-fifth of China's Internet users use online banking services at least twice or three times per week, and five-percent of the surveyed use online banking each day. In a contrast, the rate globally is 32 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Initially, 99Bill and China Merchants Bank will jointly launch marketing program to encourage the usage of online banking and online payment services, and the customers can get special bonuses and discounts while banking and shopping online. The two companies will also develop and introduce more easy- to-use and innovative payment services to match the market demands.

"Chinese people are increasingly perceived online banking as a convenient and efficient payment tool. Online banking is becoming a major tool for banks to improve brand images and efficiency, and compete better in the marketplace," said an official with Beijing branch of China Merchants Bank.

"Innovation is always the cornerstone of our rapid growth," 99Bill Oliver Kwan, CEO of 99Bill, said: "we are striving to develop more value-added services for the 1.1 billon bank cardholders in China. Our partnership with China Merchants Bank, the pioneer in online banking service, marks another milestone for us and together, we can deliver more easy-to-use and innovative services to our customers"

Online banking has a huge growth potential in China. According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China's major commercial banks signed up 75 million online banking customers by the end of 2006, representing an addition of 21 million from a year ago. For 2007, the online banking transactions volume is projected to exceed 118 trillion RMB and the online banking user will reach 117 million.

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