American Express announced on Thursday its joint venture in China, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Service Co, joined with Fuzhou, Fujian province-based Industrial Bank Co to introduce two American Express-branded debit cards, the first debit products to support renminbi transactions on the American Express network.
Other Chinese issuers, such as China Merchants Bank, China CITIC Bank and China Guangfa Bank, will also launch American Express-branded debit products in the coming months.
"American Express has been investing in enhancing our customers' experiences around the world by expanding the range of services we offer along with increasing our global reach," said Doug Buckminster, vice-chairman and group president of American Express' global consumer services.
American Express is the first and currently the only foreign payments network licensed to process renminbi transactions in China. Since its commercial launch on Aug 6 last year, Express (Hangzhou) Technology Service Co, also known as Express Company, has partnered with 18 major Chinese banks to issue more than 50 American Express-branded renminbi credit card products, reached mobile wallet parity coverage through partnerships with the four top mobile wallet providers and partnered with 21 Chinese banks and local non-bank payments institutions to quickly expand the company's domestic merchant coverage.
"Adding debit capabilities to our network is another example of our unwavering commitment to China," said Walter Liu, chief executive officer of Express Company.
"Working with our local partners and regulators, we have already delivered a series of industry firsts in less than a year since our business launch — commercializing dual-app chip technology, debuting the American Express Red Card tailor-made for the China market, and launching the first pet-related and parent-child benefit platforms. We will bring differentiated value to our partners and to the market by continuing to upgrade and enrich our unique offering of products and services," Liu said.