ICBC rolls out first US credit card

Bank to work with UnionPay, Visa in ef­fort to at­tract over­seas Chi­nese, US tourists

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China launched its first credit card in the United States on Tues­day, hop­ing to tar­get over­seas Chi­nese liv­ing and work­ing in Amer­ica, and to pro­mote tourism be­tween the two coun­tries.

The new card will be of­fered by two net­works, UnionPay and Visa. The pur­pose of work­ing with Visa is to of­fer new­com­ers to the US with lim­ited credit his­tory to be able to get a credit card and “ac­cli­mate to the cul­ture of the United States,” a state­ment re­leased Tues­day said.

ICBC will of­fer two card lev­els for both net­work brands, with the “Pre­ferred” cus­tomers earn­ing 1 per­cent cash back on their spend­ing and “Premier” cus­tomers get­ting VIP ben­e­fits and ac­cel­er­ated cash back.

“This is a mile­stone for ICBC’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion, sig­nif­i­cant to ICBC’s credit card foot­print and its ris­ing sta­tus glob­ally,” said Wang Xi­quan, se­nior ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent of ICBC. “The is­suance of the ICBC credit card in the USA is ICBC’s ma­jor com­mit­ment to boost­ing Chi­naUS eco­nomic ex­change and to serv­ing lo­cal cus­tomers.”

Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay In­ter­na­tional, said in an in­ter­view prior to the launch that Chi­nese cus­tomers who work or live in the US will find the new card use­ful for its fa­mil­iar­ity, as will Amer­i­cans who travel for busi­ness to China and coun­tries near it.

The credit card also was launched as part of co­op­er­a­tion ef­forts be­tween the China Na­tional Tourism

This is a mile­stone for ICBC’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion ... and its ris­ing sta­tus glob­ally.”

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice in New York and ICBC for the 2016 China-US Tourism Year.

“We hope that there are more and more ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries, and from UnionPay’s per­spec­tive, we’re hop­ing to be able to, through our net­works, pro­vide more safe and se­cure pay­ment op­tions to trav­el­ers,” Cai said.

He said that through its col­lab­o­ra­tion with ICBC, UnionPay could pro­vide a new pay­ment op­tion for lo­cal res­i­dents and at­tract more Amer­i­can tourists to China, sup­port­ing the ex­change and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

UnionPay is also hop­ing that it can en­tice Amer­i­can tourists to use the card when they travel to China, Cai said.

“I think the best propo­si­tion [for Amer­i­can cus­tomers] is that we can pro­vide the best ser­vices to those who are trav­el­ing be­tween China and the United States, be­cause so far there’s no such prod­uct in the mar­ket for peo­ple in the US that can be used safely and con­ve­niently in the Chi­nese mar­ket,” he said.

AMY HE / CHINA DAILY

At­tend­ing launch of the In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China’s first credit card in the US on Tues­day in New York are Wang Xi­quan (cen­ter), ICBC se­nior ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent; Cai Jianbo (sec­ond from left), CEO of UnionPay In­ter­na­tional; Zhang Qiyue (third from right), China’s con­sul gen­eral in New York; and Demetrios Maran­tis (left), Visa se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of global gov­ern­ment re­la­tions.

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