World Nov 12, 2015 02:32 AM EST

China Announces No Tough Rules For Foreign Bank Card Firms

By Staff Writer

China will not impose tough licensing restrictions on overseas bank card providers looking to enter the country's $7 Trillion card payment market, a senior central bank official claimed on Tuesday.

Industry resources unveiled in October that they were concerned that the Chinese Government would restrict the quantity of licenses issued to remote card suppliers and will drive them to work through joint endeavors with local partners, according to Reuters.

However, Fan Yifei, vice governor of People's Bank of China, told a conference that there are no plans to bring in such requirements in near future. 

"We will effectively and carefully, open up China's card payment setup market according to laws and regulations and encourage fair competition," Fan said.

Foreign card companies such as Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have been trying for more than a decade now for having direct access in China's fast-growing cards market, which is predicted to become the world's biggest in 2020, as reported by Business Insider.

The state council, China's cabinet announced in April that China will start allowing foreign firms to apply to the central bank for licenses to operate bank card clearing business from June 1, a goal aimed at addressing a 2012 ruling by World Trade Organization that discovered China was discerning U.S credit card firms.

Right now, China UnionPay Co, a state-run consortium, has control on all Yuan payment cards issued and utilized in the country.

"As China opens up its market, more institutions will enter interbank clearing market. UnionPay will complete and collaborate with new joiners", says Ge Huayong, Chairman of China UnionPay, following Fan's opinion in the same event, as reported by SCMP.

Bank card purchaser exchanges remained at 42.38 Trillion Yuan a year ago, central bank data showed, representing an annual rise in growth by 33%.

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