The financial industry has made progress in opening up to the outside world, and the second overseas bank card clearing institution has entered the domestic market.
On November 19th, official website, the central bank, reported that the People’s Bank of China, together with the State Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau, examined and approved the application for opening a bank card clearing institution submitted by "Everything Network Information Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd." (hereinafter referred to as "Everything Network Company") in accordance with the the State Council Decision on Implementing Access Management of Bank Card Clearing Institutions and the Measures for the Administration of Bank Card Clearing Institutions. On November 17th, 2023, the People’s Bank of China issued a bank card clearing business license to Wanshiwanglian Company.
Wanshi Netlink Company is a joint venture established by MasterCard and Netlink Clearing Co., Ltd. in China. After obtaining the administrative license, Wanshiwanglian Company can authorize its member institutions to issue and accept RMB bank cards of MasterCard brand in China.
It is worth noting that this is the third bank card clearing institution in China after China UnionPay and China Unicom, and it is also the second Sino-foreign joint venture bank card clearing institution (China Unicom is a joint venture between American Express and China).
All things network obtained administrative permission.
According to public information, as the main body of MasterCard and Netlink Technology Co., Ltd.’ s bank card clearing institution preparation application, Wanshi Netlink Company is a joint venture company initiated by MasterCard Company in China, and as the market main body, it applies for preparing bank card clearing institution and operating MasterCard brand.
According to Tianyancha, Wanshiwanglian Company was incorporated on March 6, 2019 with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan. MasterCard Asia/Pacific PTE. Ltd. (MasterCard Asia Pacific), Netlink Technology Co., Ltd. and MasterCard International Incorporated jointly contributed 500 million yuan, 490 million yuan and 100 million yuan respectively, accounting for 50%, 49% and 1% of the registered capital respectively.
The legal representative and chairman of Everything Network Company are Ling Hai, who is the co-president of MasterCard Asia Pacific; Dong Junfeng, the director and vice chairman of Everything Network, is currently the president of Network Clearing Co., Ltd.
Industry experts told reporters that MasterCard is the second largest bank card clearing institution in the United States, and approving its entry into China’s market is a concrete measure to implement the decision-making arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on promoting high-level opening up, which fully demonstrates China’s determination to expand opening up. So far, China has approved American Express and MasterCard, two overseas bank card clearing institutions, to enter the domestic market, which is conducive to building an effective competitive, reasonable and stable bank card clearing market structure, deepening the supply-side structural reform of the payment industry, and better serving the real economy and people’s livelihood.
The bank card clearing business involves the calculation of creditor’s rights and debts and the arrangement of fund settlement among the subjects of the bank card business, which is related to the rights and interests of the public, enterprises and institutions.
The reporter learned that the People’s Bank of China is further improving the relevant management system of bank card clearing institutions, strengthening the whole process supervision and penetrating supervision, and maintaining the safe and stable operation of China’s payment system.
The central bank said that in the next step, the People’s Bank of China will continue to follow the principles of openness, fairness and justice, promote the market access of bank card clearing in an orderly manner according to law, make overall plans for development and safety, continuously improve the supervision mechanism of bank card clearing institutions, and promote the high-quality development of the payment industry.
Steadily promote the access of foreign bank card clearing institutions
In 1980s, foreign bank card clearing institutions began to provide foreign currency bank card related services to domestic entities, such as authorizing domestic commercial banks to issue foreign currency bank cards.
In 2015, the State Council issued the Decision on Implementing Access Management of Bank Card Clearing Institutions (Guo Fa  No.22), which clearly stated that China’s bank card clearing market should be opened, and foreign bank card clearing institutions can provide RMB bank card related services by setting up commercial entities in China with the approval of the People’s Bank of China and the former CBRC.
In 2016, the People’s Bank of China, together with the former China Banking Regulatory Commission, issued the Measures for the Administration of Bank Card Clearing Institutions (Order No.2 of the China Banking Regulatory Commission of the People’s Bank of China ), which set the same standards for foreign and domestic bank card clearing institutions in terms of establishment conditions, procedures and business management, fully embodying the principles of opening wider to the outside world and maintaining fair competition in the market.
Subsequently, in order to promote the standardization, standardization and convenience of administrative licensing of bank card clearing institutions and improve the transparency of administrative licensing, in 2017, the People’s Bank of China studied, formulated and publicly released the Service Guide for the Approval of Bank Card Clearing Institutions, which detailed the application materials requirements for administrative licensing matters such as the preparation, opening and major changes of bank card clearing institutions, and clarified the specific procedures for bank card clearing institutions to apply for licenses.
After that, the People’s Bank of China closely followed the new situation and situation of the opening of the bank card clearing market, and based on the regulatory practice and market demand, revised and updated the Service Guide for the Entry and Approval of Bank Card Clearing Institutions in 2020, streamlined the requirements of application materials, optimized the entry and approval process, and better facilitated the bank card clearing institutions to handle administrative licensing matters.
In recent years, the People’s Bank of China has resolutely implemented the decision-making arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and steadily promoted the access of foreign bank card clearing institutions.
In June 2020, the People’s Bank of China and the former China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission approved the application for opening a bank card clearing institution submitted by Unicom (Hangzhou) Technical Service Co., Ltd. (a joint venture company established by American Express in China), and issued a bank card clearing business license to it. In August 2020, Connectivity Company officially opened.
According to the central bank, China is committed to high-level opening-up, and MasterCard’s exhibition in China market is a new progress in China’s financial opening-up. China will continue to optimize the business environment and provide greater convenience for foreign financial institutions to develop their businesses in China. American-funded financial institutions are welcome to expand their business presence in China, share the fruits of China’s economic development and make contributions to deepening Sino-US financial cooperation.