• Kyodo News


Credit card firm JCB Co. envisions securing a sizable presence in the Chinese market, where JCB brand credit card issues are rapidly increasing, its president said in a recent interview.

“We would like to increase our exposure to overseas operations,” Takao Kawanishi said. “We want to secure a sizable position . . . particularly in China.

“The number of JCB cards has increased by as many as 500,000 units since last year in China, where the total of JCB cards issued has topped 3 million.,”

Kawanishi, 61, who assumed the presidency in June, said the Japanese market could grow, citing Japan’s unusually low rate of consumer expenditures settled with credit cards.

“The percentage of card-based settlements in Japan stands at about 14 percent and is still lower than in other countries where corresponding rates are more than 50 percent in some cases,” the former vice president of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said.

Card-based settlements in Japan have doubled compared with a decade ago, he noted, adding young people have no psychological resistance to purchasing goods and services with credit cards.

“Paying with credit cards at convenience stores was unthinkable in the past,” he said.

Asked whether credit card companies in Japan will likely undergo a reconfiguration of business ties, he said, “JCB is not facing any inevitability or necessity (of conducting a management integration or merger with other firms), although I’m not sure what policy other companies will take.”

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