MasterCard sees double-digit growth in China on e-commerce: executive

Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:43am EST
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By Eveline Danubrata

MANILA (Reuters) - Global payment operator MasterCard Inc (MA.N: Quote) sees double-digit annual growth in credit card transaction volumes in China, lifted by the booming e-commerce industry in the world's second-largest economy, a senior executive told Reuters on Monday.

China's plan to open up its domestic transactions market to foreign companies such as MasterCard would be a "game-changer", Ling Hai, co-president for Asia Pacific, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

MasterCard's current business in China is mostly handling cross-border transactions when international travelers come to China or when Chinese cardholders go overseas. The domestic market has long been dominated by state-backed China UnionPay.

"That's going to change with China opening up. We will be able to process domestic transactions just like a domestic national player," Ling Hai said, adding that the timeline for this move remains unclear.

"If you truly gain full access and get it right, China is a game-changer," he said. "China is the future in terms of consumer market. It will contribute a great deal in terms of spending and volume."

Underscoring the potential of China's consumers, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (BABA.N: Quote) total value of goods transacted during its Singles' Day shopping festival reached 91.2 billion yuan ($14.32 billion).

MasterCard has already processed "millions" of transactions for Alibaba and Chinese online payment service Tenpay in the cross-border space, Ling Hai said. "The development of e-commerce is our best friend," he added.

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata\; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

A sign with a logo of MasterCard is seen on the door of a branch of Sberbank in Stavropol January 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko