Chinese online payment service provider 99Bill has formed a strategic alliance with China Merchants Bank to jointly promote the online payment and online banking services in China.

The strategic partnership will enable 99Bill to expand its online payment services to tens of millions of China Merchant Bank's customers. Meanwhile, the alliance will also help China Merchants Bank secure more high-end customers, and increase the usage of its online banking services.

The rapid growth of the Internet industry in China creates ever-expanding demands for easy-to-use banking and online payment services. According to a survey by Nielsen, only one-fifth of China's Internet users use online banking services at least twice or three times per week, and five percent of the surveyed use online banking each day. In a contrast, the rate globally is 32 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Initially, 99Bill and China Merchants Bank will jointly launch marketing program to encourage the usage of online banking and online payment services, and the customers can get special bonuses and discounts while banking and shopping online. The two companies will also develop and introduce more easy- to-use and innovative payment services to match the market demands.

Online banking has growth potential in China. According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China's major commercial banks signed up 75 million online banking customers by the end of 2006, representing an addition of 21 million from a year ago. For 2007, the online banking transactions volume is projected to exceed 118 trillion CNY and the online banking user will reach 117 million.


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