Citibank China wins approval to issue debit cards

July 15, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Industry News 

Note: This should help them grow their overseas operations with access to a massive new customer base in China. With a new and large middle class being formed in China they will need access to modern financial services. Conveniences like access to cash in a secure method 24 hours a day is one of the signs of a middle class citizen.


Citigroup’s banking unit in China said it has received the go-ahead to issue local debit cards, a step toward expanding its services to Chinese retail customers.

Citibank (China) Co. Ltd. is the second foreign bank to win approval for local debit card business in the fast-growing economy after the Bank of East Asia was allowed to do so earlier this year. HSBC and Standard Chartered have also applied for approval.

Citi China said on Wednesday it expected to launch the debit card in “the near future“, without giving a specific date.

“We are delighted to have been granted approval to launch debit cards in China,” said Andrew Au, CEO of Citi China.

“Citi strives to be the most customer-focused international bank in China, and we look forward to being able to offer our customers the convenience and flexibility of debit cards,” he said.

Citi, which runs 25 consumer bank outlets in China, said it would outsource the handling of its debit card transactions to China Union Pay Data Services, the largest third-party processor of bank cards in the mainland.

Foreign banks are required under Chinese rules to locate IT support and data centres for card operation in the mainland, rather than operating offshore data centres.

Source: Reuters

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