Global payment operator MasterCard Inc sees double-digit annual growth in credit card transaction volumes in China, lifted by the booming e-commerce industry in the world's second-largest economy, a senior executive told Reuters on Monday.
China's plan to open up its domestic transactions market to foreign companies such as MasterCard would be a "game-changer," Ling Hai, co-president for Asia Pacific, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
MasterCard's current business in China is mostly handling cross-border transactions when international travellers come to China or when Chinese cardholders go overseas.
The domestic market has long been dominated by State-backed China UnionPay.
"That's going to change with China opening-up. We will be able to process domestic transactions just like a domestic national player," Ling said, adding that the timeline for this move remains unclear.
"If you truly gain full access and get it right, China is a game-changer," he said. "China is the future in terms of consumer market. It will contribute a great deal in terms of spending and volume."
Underscoring the potential of China's consumers, local e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's total value of goods transacted during its Singles' Day shopping festival reached 91.2 billion yuan ($14.32 billion) this year.
MasterCard has already processed "millions" of transactions for Alibaba and Chinese online payment service Tenpay in the cross-border space, Ling said.
"The development of e-commerce is our best friend," he added.