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The Chinese credit card market has been growing at double-digit rates since the early 1990s and has boomed since 2003.
China became the world's second largest credit card market (after the US) in 2012 in terms of number of cards issued and transaction volume, and is expected to become the world's largest credit card market by the year 2020.
The industry has witnessed significant growth over the past few years, with robust expansion in its economy. Credit cards are being increasingly used in numerous shopping malls and various online portals that carry luxury or world-class brands of consumer goods.
This is mainly due to the advancement of technology in bank card industry, which is bringing transparency, ease, and security in the use of these cards.
Being highly policy-driven, the Chinese credit card market is largely directed by political calculation, policy mission and administrative intervention. Even though economic and social factors play a vital role, government regulations and policies control or strongly influence the competitive landscape, the credit card ecosystem and the industry income structure.
58% of Chinese credit card holders are younger than 35, while only 3.3% of card holders are older than 50. This result may reflect some unique aspects of the Chinese culture. The concepts of credit and debt are quite contrary to the principles of Confucianism, so it may take a while for older Chinese citizens to adopt those concepts.
While 72% of Chinese credit card holders were never late on their payments, only 55% were able to pay the full balance. She also found that 70% of Chinese credit card holders said that credit cards contributed to overspending.
Although the market mainly includes the state-owned banks, such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Bank of China, the present structure will witness the involvement of foreign banks in credit card issuance in near future. Thus, it is likely that foreign banks will play a more important role in intensifying the competition through to 2015.
With the continuous rise in the younger population, government support, advancements in e-banking services, and the emerging trend of e-commerce, the Chinese credit card market has been forecast to grow at a CAGR of 24% during through to 2015.
For more information on the Chinese credit card market, see the latest research: Chinese Credit Card Market
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