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By Dave Yin / Jan 15, 2019 04:47 AM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s central bank has still not formally acknowledged applications from Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. to process yuan payments even though the two global credit-card giants reportedly filed the documents more than a year ago, the Financial Times reported.

Under China’s current process, acceptance of an application is the first step toward approval. After that, the People’s Bank of China must make a decision within 90 days under rules published in 2017 to facilitate the entry of foreign players into China’s $110-trillion bank card-clearing market monopolized by state-controlled China UnionPay.

The delayed consideration of Visa and Mastercard’s applications highlights complaints from foreign companies and governments over China’s slow movement to open the sector as pledged.

In November, American Express Co. said it became the first foreign player to win access to the country’s bank card-clearing market, a move observers say was only possible because of the company’s small size, which would limit its potential market share and profits.

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