Shanghai – April 21, 2017 – Mastercard has teamed up with its long-term partner, Bank of China, to launch the ‘Great Wall International Debit Card’ – China’s first-ever cross-border, multi-currency debit card with EMV chip. This pioneering product has been designed to address key pain points for diverse consumer segments – particularly those who travel, study, or shop overseas – and presents a unique offering in China’s debit card market, with access to Mastercard’s global benefits. The new card was unveiled today at a ceremony in Shanghai’s International Convention Center, attended by Dennis Chang, Division President, China, Mastercard, and Yang Yimin, General Manager, Personal Finance, Bank of China.
Chinese outbound travel and cross-border e-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, driving demand for payment products that support international purchases. Yet many consumers still face barriers to owning an international credit card, such as freelance workers, overseas students, senior citizens, or those who have to travel at short notice. Some credit card holders can also face certain limitations, such as credit line restrictions overseas and high charges on currency conversions.
Meanwhile, debit cards are becoming increasingly popular, representing 70% of all payment cards and rising, according to consulting firm Retail Banking Research (RBR). This is being driven in part by the lower fees, easier application process, and flexible spending limits associated with debit cards. However, most traditional debit card products in China offer limited functionality, and can’t cater to the full breadth of consumer needs.
Addressing this trend and the challenges Chinese consumers face, Mastercard and the Bank of China have designed the new Great Wall International Debit Card to resolve diverse consumer pain points. For instance, the streamlined application process and more flexible eligibility enables people who are usually excluded from owning credit cards to obtain the card quickly, requiring only a valid form of identification. The card also allows consumers to spend freely according to the funds available in their bank account, which will be appreciated by consumers who are usually restrained by credit limits.
Adding to the product’s differentiation from all other debit cards on the market, cardholders will enjoy exclusive privileges covering travel, dining, and leisure experiences included in Mastercard’s Priceless Cities program, as well as benefits for children and discounts on overseas shopping and study. And with zero conversion charges on 19 foreign currencies, low overseas cash withdrawal fees, and an exchange rate lock function that secures the most favorable rates, cardholders can make significant savings.
Meanwhile, Mastercard’s EMV chip technology, password protection and an SMS notification service offer consumers peace of mind with the highest level of security on cross-border transactions.
“As China’s most international and diversified banking institution, Bank of China has a long history of leveraging its advantages to build an exclusive product portfolio with unique features and benefits,” said Yang Yimin, General Manager, Personal Finance, Bank of China. “The Great Wall International Debit Card we are issuing in partnership with Mastercard supports multiple currencies and caters to a variety of unmet consumer needs. At the same time, this product further strengthens our industry-leading foreign currency and cross-border commerce business.”
“Mastercard is committed to sharing its global resources with partners and collaborating to develop customized products that address real challenges for cardholders,” said Dennis Chang, Division President, China, Mastercard. “We are delighted to be working with Bank of China to introduce China’s first cross-border, multi-currency debit card with EMV chip, which addresses the growing global trend in debit card uptake and meets the needs of diverse consumer segments. This pioneering innovation marks a major new milestone in our three decades of partnership with Bank of China, and we look forward to further collaborations to provide consumers with more secure, convenient, and rewarding cross-border payment solutions.”
Key advantages of the Great Wall International Debit Card include:
- Streamlined application procedure: An applicant may apply for a card at Bank of China branches by presenting his or her valid identity document
- Applicants under 16 may apply for the card accompanied by their parent or guardian
- Cash withdrawal at overseas ATMs at any time of the day; low handling fee (0.5% of the value of the cash withdrawn – from US$3 up to a max. of $5)
- No service charge on currency conversions for overseas purchases
- Supports conversion of 19 foreign currencies
- Spending limit tied to funds available in the relevant bank account
- Yields income from interest; doubles as a foreign exchange and financial management product
- Exchange rate lock function
- Secure online shopping
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
 Source: RBR Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021
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