Amex, JCB enter joint usage deal

Japan’s largest credit card company, JCB Co., has reached a basic accord with American Express Co. (Amex) of the United States to accept each other’s cards at their affiliated shops, the firms announced Wednesday.

By cooperating with each other, the two credit card companies hope to survive intensifying competition with other major credit card firms, such as Visa and MasterCard, which are expanding business relations with major banks and financial institutions.

The two companies will begin the collaboration in major markets, including the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia, next spring.

The deal will allow JCB, which operates mostly in Japan and other Asian nations, and Amex, which focuses its services on the U.S., to improve customer convenience and increase its members and transaction volumes.

Currently, nearly 66 percent of Amex’s transactions come from the U.S. market.

JCB has about 4 million affiliated outlets in Japan. The move would help Amex increase considerably the number of Japanese outlets available to its customers.