31 Jul, 2015
BEIJING, (Xinhua) 2015-07-29 – Credit cards are gaining increasing popularity among Chinese, with payments totaling 15.2 trillion yuan ($2.49 trillion) last year, a report by China Banking Association showed on Tuesday.
The volume was up 16 percent from the previous year. In 2014, around 64 million new credit cards were issued, bringing the total to 460 million.
The report also highlighted rising risks in the industry. In 2014, credit card repayments delayed by more than half a year were up 42 percent year on year to 35.76 billion yuan in 2014, according to the report.
China’s multi-trillion bank card clearing market has been monopolized by China UnionPay Co, the national bank card association founded in 2002. It was the sole company approved by the central bank to provide clearing services for bank card transactions in the country.
To gradually open up the market to bring in competition, China’s State Council announced detailed regulations in April to widen the market for bank card clearing services.
Starting from June 1, companies with a standard bank card clearing system and a registered capital of no less than one billion yuan are qualified to apply to conduct bank card clearing services in China.