Citi has become the first foreign bank in China to issue its own credit card without having to co-brand with a Chinese counterpart.
The first transactions were successfully conducted yesterday by Andrew Au, Citi’s China chief executive, and Simon Chow, China consumer banking head. They will be the first of many. China is widely expected to be the world’s biggest credit card market within the next decade, and is already seen as the second-largest consumer banking market in the world.
Despite more than a decade’s financial reform, its credit card business is still relatively immature due to the lack of an established payment infrastructure.