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Banks, retailers look to financial innovation

Updated: 2014-01-07 16:01
By Jiang Xueqing ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Faced with strong competition from Internet finance and e-commerce, some traditional banks and retailers are providing innovative financial products and services.

China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd and Carrefour China launched a co-branded credit card for daily consumption on Monday.

The credit card has been launched in more than 100 Carrefour stores in 12 cities across China including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. It will cover 200 Carrefour stores in about 40 cities by the end of 2014.

Consumers who use the card will enjoy 5 percent cash back with every purchase of 99 yuan ($16) or more every Wednesday and Saturday in these Carrefour stores, plus more than 1,000 special offers every year. Cardholders will also receive special discounts on the 18th of each month.

"Internet finance is shaking up the retail and financial industries. A new round of financial and retail reform is irreversible. Therefore, 2014 will be a crucial year of transformation for China CITIC Bank and Carrefour," said Zhu Jialin, vice-president of the bank.

With the acceleration of China's urbanization and a rising number of communities, the need for community financial services will increase while such services become a focus of competition among financial institutions, Zhu noted.

He called his bank's cooperation with Carrefour China "a milestone for both sides", which will help the bank move into modern service industry and carry out community financial services.

Thierry Garnier, president and CEO of Carrefour China, also expected that the cooperation will bring benefits for his company and local communities.

"I firmly believe that the partnership between Carrefour and CITIC Bank can provide our customers with more services, additional discounts and more convenience," said Garnier.