JV company hopes to become first-ever private credit card issuer in China

In the historic capital of Xian, the Shaanxi Credit Bureau (SCB) plans a historic move.

Given that the largest foreign credit card companies such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard are still barred from issuing cards, SCB's pioneering efforts could well leave it placed to obtain first-mover advantage, say observers.

So far, credit cards have only been issued in limited numbers by the country's state-owned commercial banks. Scarcity is partly a result of the routine credit problems which plague Chinese financial institutions. To avoid similar difficulties, SCB says it will require strict levels of financial disclosure from its applicants.

Third party providers of consumer loans for cars and houses will also be invited to join the system for a fee - using the computerized credit...

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