Visa Increases Efforts in China
Visa recently announced new efforts to issue credit cards in Chinese yuan. Visa would be the second credit card company to have cards in this currency, with Citigroup introducing a similar service last month. China has reformed its foreign exchange policy to allow for financial services, making this a perfect time for Visa to get in on the action.
The manager of Visa Information Systems, Jeff Liao, told China Daily that he is hoping to have cards in the country by July, if everything goes according to plan.
“We can support banks to issue a Visa product at any time, if the regulations allow,” said Liao. “We’re waiting to see what identity Visa can have, what business we can do, and to what extent we can progress to get access to the domestic market.”
30% of Visa’s payment volumes last year came from Asia, so expanding to China would surely be a step in the right direction. At this point, China’s UnionPay Data has a stronghold on the market, but the new policies are allowing for other companies to expand into the market. Visa is simply seizing an opportunity that has arisen.
Edmond Harris from Guiness Atkinson said “Investors have been saying for the past 15 years that the yuan would be fully convertible one day. Now that day is coming.”
It looks like Visa is helping pioneer the conversion, while progressing its international efforts at the same time.