Bank of East Asia Launches RMB Debit Card

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BEIJING, May 28 – The Bank of East Asia became the first international lender to issue RMB debit cards in Mainland China after signing an agreement with China UnionPay in Beijing yesterday.

The bank also plans to issue RMB credit cards by the end of the year once it has been approved by Chinese regulators.

“We are pushing aside boundaries to deliver products and services demanded by our clients throughout the world,” said David Li, chairman of the Bank of East Asia, at the opening ceremony in the Westin Financial Street.

BEA’s RMB debits cards can be used at 800,000 merchants with UnionPay point of sales machines, UnionPay’s designated merchants overseas in 29 countries and regions and UnionPay’s automatic teller machine in 48 overseas countries and regions.

Li said that the bank anticipates issuing over one million debit cards by the end of the year.

BEA is the first overseas bank to issue RMB debit cards. Rivals including HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are also preparing to launch RMB debits cards on the mainland.