CITIC Bank and Uber form partnership to issue co-branded credit cards
China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd and Uber Technologies Inc announced the launch of a co-branded credit card on Wednesday, taking the first step toward a strategic partnership globally.
Emil Michael, chief business officer of Uber, said CITIC Bank is their first partner globally to launch a co-branded credit card.
“CITIC Bank shares our commitment to innovation and to delivering the best possible customer service. They share our entrepreneurial drive, and they are innovators in the internet banking industry,” he said.
CITIC Bank customers can earn free Uber rides and cashback rewards by using a Uber-CITIC credit card to pay for the rides. Soon it will be possible for Uber drivers to access CITIC Bank funding or upgrade their car, he said.
Before its cooperation with Uber, CITIC Bank has explored ways to expand and integrate online-offline business through partnership with several leading internet companies. Guo Danghuai, vice-president of the bank, said CITIC Bank has jointly issued more than 3 million credit cards with the three largest Chinese internet companies, namely Baidu Inc, Alibaba GroupHolding Ltd and TencentHoldings Ltd.
Last year, the mid-sized commercial lender launched a co-branded credit card with the finance arm of JD.com Inc, China’s second-largest online retailer. Mainly targeting young customers born after 1990, the card allows its holders to enjoy an interest free period for a maximumof 80 days, in addition to earning reward points and special offers.
More Chinese banks are stepping to buy up cooperation with internet companies to acquire newclients online, improve precision marketing solutions, find new business models, as competition in payment services has greatly intensified with the participation of large internet companies.
Earlier this year, China Merchants Bank Co Ltd announced a strategic cooperation with Chinese ride-hailing service giant Didi Chuxing in various aspects, including payment, finance and marketing. Didi Chuxing customers are allowed to pay for rides via an instant online payment service provided by the bank.
During the first quarter of 2016, the growth of payments using credit cards for most banks was much faster than the increase in their number of cards issued, said a report published by GEO Technologies Ltd, a Beijing-based big data solution provider.