Korea’s BC Card expands overseas business; charges no fee on overseas card use

2013-07-22 18:56

BC Card expands overseas business

By Park Ji-won

BC card is expanding, aiming to become the world’s leading payment services provider by bolstering its “Global Card” service. Global Card is the first Korean card that can be used around the world. 3.3 million of these cards have been issued as of last month. Like Visa, Master and JCB credit cards, BC is the only Korea-based card to offer this service. BC says it introduced the Global Card in response to the high fees that other cards charge Korean customers, even in their own country. While the BC charges no commission, Visa and Master impose fees on Korean customers even when they are using the cards inside the country.BC has expanded into China by linking with China UnionPay, the country’s only interbank network. The deal enabled BC to issue Chinese cards for the first time.

UnionPay, founded in 2002 for China’s banking card industry, is the country’s only organization representing the credit card industry.

According to BC officials, China UnionPay issued 3.5 million cards in China as of June 2013. Market insiders say that the cards are popular with Koreans living in China, and with Koreans studying there.

BC is also aiming to lead China’s mobile payment service sector. BC and   KT   are seeking to build a “near field communication” (NFC) system in China with state-owned telecommunication company China Mobile. KT is the largest shareholder in BC.

BC recently strengthened its partnerships with financial companies to support its diversified card payment service.

The result is “Ready-made,” a personalized financial payment service for individual companies, such as Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Korea Post.

This has enabled BC to expand its business with secondary banks, including the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperation and the National Credit Union Federation of Korea.

BC card was founded in 1982 as the credit card association for local banks. The company has about 27 million card users and 2.5 million franchised stores as of July 2013.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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