Ingenico ePayments, the online and mobile commerce division of France's Ingenico, has signed an agreement with Air China to accept Discover Card payments in North America, a key market for the Beijing-based airline, with plans to expand to other regions later this year.

The agreement gives Air China, the flag-carrier airline for the People’s Republic of China, the capability to accept all Discover Global Network cards, including Diners Club, and those of Discover’s network alliance partners BC Global Card, RuPay and Elo, Ingenico said in a March 21 press release.

The deal builds on a previous agreement Air China had with Discover to accept its Diners Club brand in Japan. Air China now plans to expand acceptance of Discover and Diners Club cards in additional countries this year, according to the press release.

Air China aircraft
The tail fins of Air China Ltd. aircraft are seen at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Bloomberg News

Air China already accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express for North American travelers, according to the company’s website.

“By working with a trusted partner like Ingenico ePayments to enable Discover acceptance, we ensure that we can offer the right payment options for our valued passengers,” said Wang Wei, Air China’s senior manager of e-commerce. “If they start their travel experience with maximum choice, convenience and reliability, this reflects on our brand as well."

Ingenico suggested the move after observing a steady increase in Air China’s payments originating from North America, said Nick Tubb, Ingenico ePayments’ general manager of Asia Pacific, in the release. “Our analysis showed that the airline could further expand their reach in the region by adding Discover Card acceptance,” he said.

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