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Rumor: 7 More Companies Apply for Third-Party Payment Licenses

21st Century Business Herald, 2/17/11

On January 28, the Shanghai, Tianjin, and Shenzhen branches of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) reportedly announced a second batch of third-party payment license applicants. The seven new companies bring the total number of companies whose applications are believed to be under review to 24.

The seven companies include four Shanghai-based companies: Smartpay, Shanghai Fufeitong Information Service Co., Ltd., International Payment Solutions Limited (IPS) and Sand Bankcard-Link Information & Service Co., Ltd.; one Tianjin-based company, Bohai Yisheng Business Service Co., Ltd.; and two Shenzhen-based companies: Yinsheng E-Pay Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen EKA Technology Co., Ltd. The applicants names were removed from the PBoC website a short while after this news was announced.

A senior executive from one of the companies included in the first round said that his company had been asked to provide supplementary material before the Chinese New Year holidays, and still had not received any feedback. He added that it was hard to say if the PBoC would issue licenses in the first quarter of this year and all his company could do was wait and see.

Unlike the first batch of applicants, the second group is not only applying to process online and bank card payments, but also mobile and prepaid card payments. For instance, Smartpay applied to process mobile payments, Sand-Bankcard applied for a license to issue prepaid stored-value cards, and Fufeitong and Yinsheng E-Pay applied to provide a full suite of payment services.

In terms of registered capital, Sand-Bankcard is the biggest company with approximately RMB 230 mln. The smallest is Yinsheng E-Pay with approximately RMB 100 mln.

The seven companies are mostly privately owned enterprises, but some have connections to state-owned enterprises. For instance, a subsidiary of China UnionPay holds a 2.68% stake in Fufeitong, and HNA Group Holdings owns 80% of Bohai Yinsheng.

The aforementioned senior executive said that the state-owned companies had a strong interest in third-party stayment systems and PBoC branches were actively promoting third-party payment systems.

Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Rumor: 17 Companies Considered for Third-Party Payment Licenses" MD 12/30/10 issue.

Keywords: online payment mobile payment e-payment regulation Fufeitong Sand Bankcard-Link Bohai Yisheng Yinsheng E-Pay EKA Technology China UnionPay Internet Smartpay People's Bank of China IPS third-party payment

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