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.
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