The Bank of China will soon begin issuing American Express-branded credit card to some of their elite customers, through an agreement that was recently made between the two companies. This announcement was made public on Wednesday.
American Express sees China as a major expanding market, according Dave Keung in a statement, according to The Wall Street Journal. Keung is the vice president and group general manager for global network and merchant services at American Express, a New York-based company.
The cards, which will be offered to private clients, will offer holders special perks—including discounts on travel, the opportunity to utilize a “fast-track” service to whisk them through security lines and immigration checkpoints at certain airports, and many other features—claimed American Express. The new card will have “dual currency functionality,” meaning one account will be in U.S. dollars, while another will be in Chinese yuan.
Xiangqun Zhong said in a company statement that American Express is a world brand known for offering great service to wealthy people worldwide. Zhong is the general manager of BOC’s credit card center.
Zhong said that in starting the new card marked a significant breakthrough in a continuing partnership. He hopes that the private banking customers in China will gain remarkable advantages in their home country and when they travel around the world.
Before the present, other U.S. Companies have faced considerable challenges getting a foot in the door to be able to operate in China. Some trade officials claim that is due to rules set forth by the Chinese government designed to allow China UnionPay, the only transaction-processing network in the country, to have a monopoly over the payment card processing market there.
American Express is a credit card lender, in addition to being a transaction processor. Typically, card companies specialize in one side of the business or the other. Visa and MasterCard, both companies that are only transaction processors, and not lenders, have been struggling to gain entrance into China’s payment industry, which is expanding rapidly. They have been attempting to do so by brokering agreements with China UnionPay.
According to Keung, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, AMEX’s Bank of China deal is a way to grow American Express’s brand, and improve services and benefits to an increasing wealthy segment of China’s population.