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BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of China (BOC) announced here on Friday that it has started issuing a stored value bank card -- the "Great Wall Card" -- that can be used by visitors here during the Olympics.
They can purchase the card at any BOC branch in the capital and get a refund for any remaining value when they leave. The card is denominated in local currency.
The holder can withdraw cash from any China Unionpay automated teller machine or pay at point of sales (POS) terminals in retail shops that display the Unionpay sign.
The cards will be issued from Friday till the end of the Games. As the exclusive banking partner of the Beijing Olympic Games, BOC was the first bank authorized to issue this type of card.
Foreign visitors need not carry a large sums around the city and don't need to sign when paying with card, the bank said.
BOC president Li Lihui said that the stored value card was not just a payment solution but could also be a good souvenir for visitors.
Established in 2002, China Unionpay is the country's largest bankcard association. It had 740,000 cooperating merchants and 1.18 million POS terminals nationwide as of the end of last year.
[Description of Source: Beijing Xinhua in English -- China's official news service for English-language audiences (New China News Agency)]
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