South Korean card issuer and payment
services provider BC Card is considering the possibility of
entering the US market with a view to becoming a global payment
services provider.

The possible move follows BC Card’s foray into
the Chinese market in 2004 under a partnership with China UnionPay.
In March, the two companies jointly issued the Zhong Guo Tong card,
which now numbers around 600,000 in issuance. More recently, the
two issued the Zhong Guo Tong debit card.

The two entities are also discussing ways to
enhance co-operation in the areas of joint marketing to Chinese
tourists in South Korea and member service expansion within the
Chinese market.

BC Card is looking to enter the US market in
the third quarter of 2009 by establishing a business alliance with
a US network in order to provide ATM services, before expanding the
alliance to include card acceptance at US merchant locations.

Each South Korean held an average of 3.78
cards as of August last year, behind the US with 5.3 cards on
average per person.