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Building business quickly, but thoughtfully

By Jiang Xueqing | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-04 10:12
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., CEO of Visa Inc, at the company's new office in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Visa is getting capabilities and infrastructure ready to participate in China's mobile payment market

Visa Inc has applied for a bank card clearing license in China as a wholly owned foreign enterprise, said Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., CEO of the leading global payments technology company.

This choice is different from its major competitor Mastercard Inc, which is resuming a push into the country by forming a joint venture with China's online clearing house NetsUnion Clearing Corp.

"Our competitors will do what they think is best; we are going to do what we think is best for Visa," Kelly said on the sidelines of the annual China Development Forum recently.

"Obviously, it is important to get the form of what we do correct, and it is important to be compliant with the People's Bank of China's rules and guidelines.

"But equally important is to make sure that when we come to the market, we are delivering value and benefit that is going to be desired by Chinese citizens and business owners, and that we are bringing solutions and innovations that are going to be relevant and valuable to China," Kelly said.

"Visa is spending a lot of time thinking about what it will deliver. That is equally important to how we enter the marketplace," the CEO added.

The company expanded its Beijing office to a new building and opened its China Innovation Center in the capital city on March 22, in an effort to encourage clients and partners - including banks, merchants and fintech companies - to develop solutions for customer pain points.

"These are signs of our willingness to invest ahead of having a domestic license approved, because we are both confident and hopeful that can happen," he said.

In an interview with China Daily, the CEO shared his thoughts on a number of topics, such as Visa's application for China market entry and plans for local business development.

How is Visa's application for direct access to China's bank card clearing market progressing?

We have filed our application and are in continued discussions with the People's Bank of China. We are hopeful that our application will be accepted soon, and we are planning accordingly.

We are so excited about what this market could be that we are thinking about capabilities and infrastructure required from a technological standpoint and getting ready.

We are kind of going down two paths: One is to continue to have ongoing engagement with the PBOC and other relevant people in the Chinese government, to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to be 100 percent compliant with what the government expects of us in terms of being a good operator in this country. And we are planning how we will operate in the market if it were to happen.

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