China Will Be World's Top Credit Card Market by 2020

Chinese Will Have 800 Million Cards in 10 Years, Up From 200 Million Now

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SHANGHAI ( – China is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world's top credit card market in the next decade, according to a new report by MasterCard, as growing wealth and urbanization ilead to greater disposable income.

The number of credit cards issued by Chinese banks could quadruple to 800 million or more by 2020, up from 200 million today.

Chinese use less plastic than western consumers and often prefer to make payments with cash or debit cards. Also, foreign bank card companies are prohibited from offering local-currency services in China, where state-run China UnionPay is the monopoly processor and operates the only bank card network in the country.

But MasterCard and its rival Visa International are betting that China will become a major market for credit card services. MasterCard's report says China's bank card market is expected to grow 11% annually by transaction volume and 13.9% by number of cards between 2005 and 2025.
Source: Reuters

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