UnionPay, World’s Largest Card Payment Organisation, Coming to Croatia?

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American Express cardholders will be able to use them until the end of 2019. Which replacement service will they opt for will depend on what the card companies will offer them. Therefore, some banks, as well as marketing agencies, have already begun preparations, including advertising campaigns, trying to win over some of about half a million American Express users in Croatia. PBZ is the licensed American Express partner in Croatia and earlier this year the bank announced activities that will allow card users to “continue with the uninterrupted use of all services and related benefits.” Unofficial sources say that PBZ will offer its customers UnionPay cards, owned by the world’s largest card issuer, China UnionPay, reports Jutarnji List on November 13, 2018.

The Chinese card organisation has issued about five billion credits cards, and in 2015 it has overtaken the former leading card issuer Visa. PBZ said it could neither confirm nor deny its possible cooperation with UnionPay. “Our users have a high level of confidence in PBZ Group, which is confirmed by our research which shows that they fully believe that PBZ Card will offer high-quality replacement cards,” the bank said.

The latest events are also a chance for Diners to expand in the Croatian market. Its cards in Croatia are issued by Erste Card Club, which currently has 380,000 credit cards (Diners, Visa and MasterCard). At the moment, they see “high-quality opportunities for further growth and development of card business in the Croatian market.” Therefore, they are intensively working on “introducing new services, with an emphasis on improving the digital user experience.”

Recently, a fully digitized application process for issuing Diners Club credit cards has been introduced. New members can request a card without delivering paperwork or coming to a branch office, and the process is available to all citizens, irrespective of whether they are Erste Bank customers or not.

Given that American Express credit cards will be managed by the issuer itself in the future, it is expected they will no longer be in widespread use in Croatia, except at the corporate level. Amex has abandoned its licensing business model due to EU payment legislation, which limits multilateral fees charged by credit card issuers.

For more on banks in Croatia, click here.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Marina Klepo).


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