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Bank card payment seen rising

By Chen Yang (Global Times)

09:00, November 27, 2012

Chinese consumers' willingness to pay by bank card is rising, with bank card transactions making up 46.3 percent of the country's retail sales in the third quarter of 2012, People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, said Monday.

Chinese banks had issued 3.4 billion bank cards by the end of the third quarter, up 21.2 percent year-on-year, the central bank said on its website.

Over 800 million people in China will have at least one bank card by the end of 2012, Shu Shizhong, assistant president of China UnionPay, the country's largest bank card services provider, said Monday in Hefei, Anhui Province.

Some 318 million credit cards had been issued by the end of the third quarter, up 18.8 percent year-on-year, the central back data showed. But the growth rate was 1.5 percentage points lower than that registered during the same period last year.

"Unlike the aggressive expansion to grab market share in recent years, commercial banks implemented stricter rules for credit card issuance this year due to increasing default risks and the overall tight credit environment," Zhang Guoqiang, an analyst at industry website, told the Global Times Monday.

Data from the central bank showed that credit card loans that were more than six months overdue reached a total of 14.43 billion yuan ($2.32 billion) by the end of September, up 8.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, and accounting for 1.4 percent of total credit loans outstanding.

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