Bank card business expands in first half

The number of bank cards issued and transaction volume grew by the end of June, with an outstanding performance in the electronic payment business, according to a report from PBOC.

The banking sector enjoyed an expanded card business in the first half, with the credit card service on fast track.  

The number of bank cards issued came to 6.34 billion as of the end of June, up by 8.9 percent year on year. Credit cards and debit cards, as a group, recorded 9.8 percent growth annually to a total of 520 million,  meaning 0.34 credit cards per person, a recent report by the central bank said.

In the second quarter, there was a total of 34 billion transactions, soaring by 33 percent from the 12 months prior. Business volume stood at 18.3 billion yuan (US $2.8 billion), up by 3.79 percent year on year, with the transfer business accounting for almost three quarters.

Financial institutions handled 36 billion electronic payments nationwide from April to June, worth 545 trillion yuan. Among them, over 32 percent of the transactions were operated online, with the majority taking place via mobile. These two types of services saw a jump of 40.5 percent and 33.8 percent respectively, compared with the same period of last year.

The payment system ran smoothly during the first six months, with an expanded scale of transactions of social capital and steady growth in payment business volume, the report noted.

This was echoed by the banks’ interim results. Thanks to booming consumer finance, the ever-expanding credit card business will remain an engine for the further transformation of banks.

China Construction Bank Corp saw a breakthrough in its credit card service, with the number above 100 million for the first time.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank stood out as a dark horse, with a rise of almost double in its credit card revenue over the same period of 2016.

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