China's Shenzhen Ping An Bank says its credit cardholders have paid more than 400 million yuan (US$57.9 million or 37.6 million euros) worth of credit card bills at convenience stores in Shanghai since the bank's service began in November. In the past month, credit cardholders paid back 160 million yuan at participating convenience stores. Cardholders can pay bills at some 2,000 convenience stores in Shanghai, a bank spokesperson tells CardLine Global. "We are a middle-sized bank and have only four branches in Shanghai, [so] the service ... at convenience stores makes up for the insufficient number of outlets in the city," the spokesperson says. The bank has issued at least 700,000 credit cards. "Multiple-channel card repayments is a new trend in the credit card market," Fei Cao, an analyst with Beijing-based research company Analysys International, tells CardLine Global. "Banks want to attract more credit card customers, and the facilitation of repayments is one of the factors that can help them." China Merchants Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Shangzhen Development bank also provide the same service at convenience stores in Shanghai and Beijing, in association with payment network China UnionPay.
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