Tokyo, March 13, 2006 - JCB, a leading international payment brand, is pleased to announce that Public Bank Berhad, one of Malaysia's largest banks, has started JCB merchant acquiring business this month. This new license agreement for merchant operations in Malaysia between JCB International and Public Bank was signed in September 2005, marking the fourth JCB merchant acquiring partnership in Malaysia.
"We are very happy to announce this alliance with Public Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in Malaysia", remarked Mr. Takeshi Fujii, Chief Representative of JCB International in Kuala Lumpur. "This is a major step forward for the JCB brand. By partnering with Public Bank, JCB card acceptance in Malaysia will be expanded significantly, which I am confident will contribute to a convenience upgrade for our JCB cardmembers."
Public Bank, founded in 1965, is one of Malaysia's largest integrated banking groups offering a comprehensive array of financial services which include commercial banking, merchant banking, offshore banking, and credit/debit card services. Public Bank's full merchant network acceptance for JCB is expected to be completed in phases throughout the year.
Ms. Chong You Lin, General Manager of Public Bank Card Services commented, "JCB cardmembers will definitely welcome wider acceptance coverage, more choices and greater flexibility with this strategic collaboration. The combination of two highly recognizable and respected brands will culminate in exciting future prospects."
In 1985, JCBI signed a licensee agreement with HSBC in Malaysia, followed by partnerships with Malayan Banking Berhad in 1995, and Southern Bank Berhad in 1998 for both merchant acquiring and card issuing operations. With the launch of acquiring business with Public Bank, JCB brand business continues to grow in Malaysia, offering more convenience to JCB cardmembers from abroad and to the increasing number of JCB cardmembers in Malaysia itself. With the extension of this agreement, both parties are confident of the mutual benefits for JCB cardmembers and Public Bank merchants, and are committed to working closely for future business collaborations.
The Langkawi islands and other beautiful resorts make Malaysia one of the most popular destinations for world travelers. According to the Japan National Tourist Organization, about 300,000 Japanese visited Malaysia in 2004, a significant increase of more than 41% from the year before, while the warm climate and availability of longer-term visas are attracting more and more Japanese retirees for longer stays not only in Kuala Lumpur but in resort areas such as Penang Island and the Cameron Highlands. With the recent signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, the future should see even stronger growth in travel from Japan to Malaysia.
AboutPublic Bank Berhad
Public Bank commenced its banking business on August 6 1966. The Public Bank Group is one of Malaysia's largest integrated banking groups offering a comprehensive array of financial services which include commercial banking, merchant banking, offshore banking, credit/debit card services, Islamic banking services, deposit taking and finance, hire purchase financing, leasing, factoring, stock and share broking, trustee and nominee services, and sale and management of unit trust. Public Bank is ranked 5th largest of all the companies listed on the Main Board of Malaysia's Securities and Exchange Berhad, based on market capitalization and the largest among the non-government linked corporation. Website: www.pbebank.com/.
JCB is an international credit card brand and the largest card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding overseas in 1981. Its merchant network includes 13.16 million merchants and spans 190 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries and territories, with 55.99 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with more than 350 leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardmember base. JCB's corporate philosophy of "Service from the heart", a commitment to responsive and high-quality service, continues to guide it as it creates the future together with its customers, merchants and partners. For more information, please visit: www.jcb-global.com/english/ or www.jcbcorporate.com/english/.