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Credit-Card Financing for Small Businesses Working in China / 在华小型企业信用卡集资简介


Author: Byron Meinerth
Date: December 9, 2013

Credit-Card Financing for Small Businesses Working in China

Businesses have a number of ways to raise capital for current and future projects. These include investment of one’s own savings, raising the loans from family and friends, using advances from commercial banks, and borrowing from all sorts of financial institutions. Generally speaking, the smaller the firm, the more importance it will place on the first couple options; a larger firm, both due to its needs and perceived stability, will be able to work with more large-scale investors. The efficacy and risk involved in these different methods varies, as does the suitability of each for different-sized companies. Understanding these different options and being able to utilize the most appropriate ones is essential for any business owner or CFO.

Methods of Financing for Small Businesses
In this article I hope to show how using credit debt can be an effective way of financing for small businesses and sole proprietorships. The information included here should not only be useful to these groups, but also to the financial institutions that provide them with lines of credit. In the case of small, but stable, businesses, it is important for them to consider looking at alternative forms of capital, such as credit issued through credit cards. Generally speaking, small businesses have more limited access to resources and the employees personally bear more of the risk that the company takes on. A company with spare capital should also consider this method, because it can assure that it will immediately be able to pay off incurred debt, and as a result, receive interest-free financing.

While credit cards are accepted worldwide at any major retailer, the way people use them, the frequency with which they do, and the type of card that is accepted varies from country to country. In order to better understand how and where credit cards are accepted in China, it helps to have at least a minor understanding of the history of credit cards, as well as the cultural differences between China and other areas of the world where one conducts business.

Understanding the History of Credit Card Usage
In the 1960s, overdraft banking was not allowed in the United States, as opposed to the UK, where it was common practice. Bankers wanted to develop a way to quickly give consumers lines of credit for larger purchases, which they initially did locally through mail and phone contacts. Later on, Citibank chose to market to people outside the immediate range of its bricks-and-mortar locations with its Everything Card. This was made possible by recently created credit bureaus and the credit scores on individuals that they produced.

This system soon spread throughout North America and Europe, but has been relatively slow to gain a foothold in China, partly due to capital controls and close cooperation between major banks and the government. Moreover, due to the general preference in China to use one’s savings instead of debt to finance purchases, there has been limited acceptance of foreign credit cards. This is crucial to remember, because while China UnionPay has more cards in circulation than any other payment network, the vast majority of these cards are debit cards, rather than credit cards.

Plastic with Chinese Characteristics
As stated before, Chinese consumers prefer to use lines of debit, often in the form of cash, rather than credit, but when abroad, this is not always feasible or appropriate. This is currently less of an issue, because UnionPay is accepted in more than 135 countries around the world. In fact, more than 60% of UnionPay transactions take place outside of Mainland China, usually in locations where Chinese consumers would be unable to obtain a foreign credit card. Nevertheless, as of 2010, 18 of the 20 largest credit card issuers (evaluated by card payment transaction value) were American companies. The other two were British.

This is an important distinction, both for competitor payment networks, but also for small businesses looking to understand how to finance operations abroad. The first implication is that there is still opportunity for expansion of credit-lending in Chinese markets. The second is that currently China is still an extremely cash-based economy, particularly outside of first-tier cities.

Opportunities for Small Businesses in China
It would be an understatement to say that opportunity for success in China has often overshadowed the actual challenges that exist for foreign companies. Too often has China been cited as a land of untapped consumer potential, rather than for the more honest reality: dynamic flows of cheap labour, large investments in infrastructure, and a high rate of savings among households. The firms that have had the most success have generally been large enough to form joint ventures with SOEs or have brand names that needed little introduction in China.

Small businesses that have neither of those must work particularly hard to identify what product they can profitably market and sell in China, as well as analyse the sustainability of doing so (Will one’s patents be secure? Will the legality of a contract with partner organizations be respected?) Sectors where foreign firms have generally performed well include high-level technology, like industrial automation products, supplementary education, and health products. What makes these sectors special is that there is both a perceived and real advantage that multinational corporations have over Chinese firms.

Using Credit Cards Abroad & In China
When using credit cards for financing, the most popular cards have been Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, in that order. Advantages of using cards include building business credit, managing expenses, preparing taxes, and sharing funds in the company. The last three are undoubtedly more difficult when having employees work abroad or sending someone on a business trip; credit cards automatically report this information back by their very nature.

Ideally, a company credit card for foreign use will have no foreign transaction fees. While the number of cards that have no foreign transaction fees are legion, a number of them are higher tier cards or are cards that have a required deposit level or yearly fees. For a small business, avoiding an annual fee and getting a low, long-term APR should be the priorities. Rewards may be a plus, but companies are rarely able to use those rewards in an efficient manner. In other words, disbursing those benefits (cash back, frequent flyer miles, etc.) to the company and its employees for work-related reasons is generally not easily done.

NerdWallet maintains an updated list of all credit without foreign transaction fees. A quick look through its list shows that Discover and CapitalOne (through Visa) both offer no foreign transaction fees on all their cards. Discover recently revamped its entire line-up of cards, now only offering two different cards, each with a couple different options available. CapitalOne has more options available, and there are certainly some hassle-free cards for businesses that it offers.

CapitalOne may very well be a great card for international use, but Discover wins out for its universal acceptance wherever China UnionPay cards are accepted. Back in 2005, Discover signed an agreement that allowed all UnionPay cards to be accepted on its Pulse network, and since 2006, all Discover cards have been accepted on CUP (China UnionPay) terminals. This means that acceptance of Discover increases whenever CUP increases its presence abroad. Furthermore, it is the only foreign card that can be readily accepted at a number of different vendors in China. Granted, the card is not without its downsides. Discover has made clear on its website that there is still some difficulty in getting Chinese vendors to accept Discover cards on their CUP terminals, so it has a wallet-sized instruction card available for print on its website. Nevertheless, anywhere one sees a CUP (银联) symbol, one can be sure his card will be accepted.

Getting access to capital in today’s cash-strapped environment can be extremely difficult for small businesses and start-ups, but it’s just as necessary as in any previous time. Credit cards are by no means a risk-free method of doing so but can be a great way for businesses who have a decent cash line, are looking to fortify their credit, and want to increase accountability when operating overseas, particularly in places like China. Lastly, it’s crucial to remember that just because credit cards are now a global phenomenon doesn’t imply that firms don’t need to understand local markets and how credit cards work in these situations.

Writer: Byron Meinerth, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’14

作者:Byron Meinerth
2013年12月09号

在华小型企业信用卡集资简介

对一家企业而言,有很多种方式可以为其目前或将来的项目筹集资金,比如,企业家可以用自己的积蓄投资,或者问亲朋好友借钱,从银行或者其他金融机构贷款。总体而言,小企业倾向于选择头两种方式来筹集资金,而对于较大的企业来说,它们具有一定的稳定性且出于需求考虑,往往有能力与大型的投资者合作。不同的集资方式效果不同,所隐含的风险程度也不同。不同规模的企业应该选择适合自身的集资方式。因此,充分理解以及能够正确选择合适的集资方式对企业家以及CFO来说都是非常重要的。

小型企业集资方式

本文说明了信用卡是小型企业以及个体企业集资的有效方式。本文提及的信息不仅对这些企业有帮助,对制定信用额度的金融机构来说也很有参考价值。对于小型但是稳定的企业来说,能够看到其他可能的集资方式是很重要的,比如信用卡。一般而言,小型企业可利用的资源较少,而员工个人承担的公司风险较大。有闲置资本的企业也可考虑这种方法,因为利用信用卡可以让企业有能力偿还债务并因此获得无息贷款。

虽然信用卡作为一种付款方式已被全世界的各大零售商接受,不同国家的人们使用信用卡的方式、频率、种类还是有差异的。为了更好地说明信用卡在中国的使用情况,我首先简要介绍了信用卡的发展历史,以及中国和其他国家、地区在企业方面的文化差异。

信用卡发展历史
在20世纪60年代,美国还没有出现银行透支业务,而在英国用信用卡透支却已经司空见惯了。银行业者希望寻求一种为客户提供信用额度的方法,以便客户进行大宗购物。而这种信用额度最初是通过邮件以及电话联系来实现的。后来,花旗银行针对那些不在他们实体银行网点服务范围内的客户推出一种叫Everything Card的信用卡。 刚刚出现的征信所记录人们的信用记录,这为信用卡的出现提供了可能。

这套信用体系迅速在北美和欧洲大陆推广,但中国在这方面的起步相对较晚。这一方面是由资金控制以及主要银行和政府的紧密合作造成的。另一方面,由于中国民众习惯用存款而不是借贷来集资,外国信用卡在中国的接受度不高。记住这一点很重要,因为虽然中国银联拥有比其他任何支付网络更多的流通卡,其中大部分只是借记卡而不是信用卡。

中国特色
前面已经提到,中国消费者喜欢用现金,而不是信用借贷来消费。但是在国外,用现金并不总是可行或者合适的。这个问题现在也基本不成问题了,因为全世界已经有超过135个国家接受银联这种支付方式。事实上,银联60%的交易都不是在中国大陆产生的,而是在那些中国消费者无法取得外国信用卡的地方发生的。然而,就2010年而言,全球最大的20家信用卡签发机构(评定标准为信用卡付款交易额)中有18家是美国公司,另外两家是英国的。

对于支付网络竞争方以及希望了解如何在国外集资的小型企业来说,以上提及的事实是很重要的。首先,这暗示着中国信用卡放贷市场仍有大量的拓展空间。其次,这也说明现在的中国经济仍然是极端依赖现金的,尤其是非一级城市的地区更是如此。

外国小型企业的中国机遇
外国企业来中国发展的机遇常常会因为实际的挑战而失色。这么说其实还不够。中国总是被说成是具有巨大消费潜力的市场,而事实却总是被忽略,比如中国廉价劳动力的流动性,对基础设施建设的大量投资以及家庭高储蓄率。在中国取得巨大成功的外企要么就是规模够大,能够跟国企组建合资企业,要么就是牌子够响,不用怎么宣传就有忠实的消费者。

那么小型企业既没规模又没品牌,就需要特别努力思考它们能在中国销售什么样的产品,能否获利,以及这样做有没有长期性(专利是否合格?与合作机构的合同是否合法?)外企在中国比较能够取得成功的领域主要包括高层次的技术,比如工业自动化产品,补充教育,以及医疗产品。这些领域的特点是跨国企业相对中国企业更具有能感知到的以及事实上的优势。
在国外以及在中国使用信用卡
如果使用信用卡集资,最受欢迎的信用卡分别为Visa, MasterCard以及American Express。使用信用卡有诸多优点,比如可以建立良好的商业信用,管理支出,计算税费,以及共享公司资金。不可否认的是,如果公司有员工在国外工作或者出差,就很难进行支出管理、税费计算或者使用公司资金。而如果使用 信用卡,这些问题就都解决了,因为信用卡可以自动将相关信息汇报给公司。

理论上说,出国用的公司信用卡进行异国交易是没有手续费的。虽然有很多信用卡不收取异国交易手续费,但是它们中有很多是高层次的卡,或者对存款额有要求,又或者需要交纳年费。对小型企业而言,免年费且年利率长期较低是最重要的。有奖励就更好了,但是很少有公司能够有效地利用这些奖励。换句话说,将工作相关的奖励(比如现金返还,常旅客里程数)落实到公司以及员工身上是不容易的。NerdWallet不断更新的表上包含了所有不收取任何异国交易手续费的信用卡。从这张表可以看出,Discover和CapitalOne的卡都不收取异国手续费。Discover最近改进了它们的信用卡,将一系列的卡归为两种,每种都有各自的特点,提供不同的服务。CapitalOne的信用卡种类更多,当然包括为企业度身定制的完全免费的卡。

就国际用途方面,CapitalOne很可能是最好的信用卡,但是Discover因为跟中国银联的合作更胜一筹。早在2005年,Discover和中国银联签订协议。该协议使得所有银联卡在Discover的Pulse网络上都能使用,而且2006年后,所有的Discover卡都能在银联终端上使用。这意味着银联在国外越普及,Discover也就越普及。而且Discover是唯一在多家中国商家使用的外国信用卡。Discover在它的网站上清楚地声明现在要在一些中国商家的银联终端机上使用它们的信用卡还有些困难,因此它们提供了一种钱包大小的指令卡。然而总体而言,只要某个商家印有银联标志,就可以使用Discover卡。

在当今社会,现金越来越少见了,而小型企业、刚起步的企业要想能够迅速取得资金变得十分困难,但这恰恰十分重要。在这方面,信用卡绝不是没有任何风险的。但如果有企业拥有相当现金储备,想要提升信用,并打算在国外,尤其是像中国这样的地方开办企业时能够提高可信度,那么信用卡可以成为非常好的工具。最后,虽然信用卡已经在全球普及了,这并不意味着企业不需要去了解地方市场以及信用卡如何在各地使用。记住这一点非常重要。

作者:Byron Meinerth,中美中心国际关系硕士2014
译者:王越,中美中心国际关系硕士2013

Author: Byron Meinerth
Date: December 09, 2013

Credit-Card Financing for Small Businesses Working in China

Businesses have a number of ways to raise capital for current and future projects. These include investment of one’s own savings, raising the loans from family and friends, using advances from commercial banks, and borrowing from all sorts of financial institutions. Generally speaking, the smaller the firm, the more importance it will place on the first couple options; a larger firm, both due to its needs and perceived stability, will be able to work with more large-scale investors. The efficacy and risk involved in these different methods varies, as does the suitability of each for different-sized companies. Understanding these different options and being able to utilize the most appropriate ones is essential for any business owner or CFO.

Methods of Financing for Small Businesses
In this article I hope to show how using credit debt can be an effective way of financing for small businesses and sole proprietorships. The information included here should not only be useful to these groups, but also to the financial institutions that provide them with lines of credit. In the case of small, but stable, businesses, it is important for them to consider looking at alternative forms of capital, such as credit issued through credit cards. Generally speaking, small businesses have more limited access to resources and the employees personally bear more of the risk that the company takes on. A company with spare capital should also consider this method, because it can assure that it will immediately be able to pay off incurred debt, and as a result, receive interest-free financing.

While credit cards are accepted worldwide at any major retailer, the way people use them, the frequency with which they do, and the type of card that is accepted varies from country to country. In order to better understand how and where credit cards are accepted in China, it helps to have at least a minor understanding of the history of credit cards, as well as the cultural differences between China and other areas of the world where one conducts business.

Understanding the History of Credit Card Usage
In the 1960s, overdraft banking was not allowed in the United States, as opposed to the UK, where it was common practice. Bankers wanted to develop a way to quickly give consumers lines of credit for larger purchases, which they initially did locally through mail and phone contacts. Later on, Citibank chose to market to people outside the immediate range of its bricks-and-mortar locations with its Everything Card. This was made possible by recently created credit bureaus and the credit scores on individuals that they produced.

This system soon spread throughout North America and Europe, but has been relatively slow to gain a foothold in China, partly due to capital controls and close cooperation between major banks and the government. Moreover, due to the general preference in China to use one’s savings instead of debt to finance purchases, there has been limited acceptance of foreign credit cards. This is crucial to remember, because while China UnionPay has more cards in circulation than any other payment network, the vast majority of these cards are debit cards, rather than credit cards.

Plastic with Chinese Characteristics
As stated before, Chinese consumers prefer to use lines of debit, often in the form of cash, rather than credit, but when abroad, this is not always feasible or appropriate. This is currently less of an issue, because UnionPay is accepted in more than 135 countries around the world. In fact, more than 60% of UnionPay transactions take place outside of Mainland China, usually in locations where Chinese consumers would be unable to obtain a foreign credit card. Nevertheless, as of 2010, 18 of the 20 largest credit card issuers (evaluated by card payment transaction value) were American companies. The other two were British.

This is an important distinction, both for competitor payment networks, but also for small businesses looking to understand how to finance operations abroad. The first implication is that there is still opportunity for expansion of credit-lending in Chinese markets. The second is that currently China is still an extremely cash-based economy, particularly outside of first-tier cities.

Opportunities for Small Businesses in China
It would be an understatement to say that opportunity for success in China has often overshadowed the actual challenges that exist for foreign companies. Too often has China been cited as a land of untapped consumer potential, rather than for the more honest reality: dynamic flows of cheap labour, large investments in infrastructure, and a high rate of savings among households. The firms that have had the most success have generally been large enough to form joint ventures with SOEs or have brand names that needed little introduction in China.

Small businesses that have neither of those must work particularly hard to identify what product they can profitably market and sell in China, as well as analyse the sustainability of doing so (Will one’s patents be secure? Will the legality of a contract with partner organizations be respected?) Sectors where foreign firms have generally performed well include high-level technology, like industrial automation products, supplementary education, and health products. What makes these sectors special is that there is both a perceived and real advantage that multinational corporations have over Chinese firms.

Using Credit Cards Abroad & In China
When using credit cards for financing, the most popular cards have been Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, in that order. Advantages of using cards include building business credit, managing expenses, preparing taxes, and sharing funds in the company. The last three are undoubtedly more difficult when having employees work abroad or sending someone on a business trip; credit cards automatically report this information back by their very nature.

Ideally, a company credit card for foreign use will have no foreign transaction fees. While the number of cards that have no foreign transaction fees are legion, a number of them are higher tier cards or are cards that have a required deposit level or yearly fees. For a small business, avoiding an annual fee and getting a low, long-term APR should be the priorities. Rewards may be a plus, but companies are rarely able to use those rewards in an efficient manner. In other words, disbursing those benefits (cash back, frequent flyer miles, etc.) to the company and its employees for work-related reasons is generally not easily done.

NerdWallet maintains an updated list of all credit without foreign transaction fees. A quick look through its list shows that Discover and CapitalOne (through Visa) both offer no foreign transaction fees on all their cards. Discover recently revamped its entire line-up of cards, now only offering two different cards, each with a couple different options available. CapitalOne has more options available, and there are certainly some hassle-free cards for businesses that it offers.

CapitalOne may very well be a great card for international use, but Discover wins out for its universal acceptance wherever China UnionPay cards are accepted. Back in 2005, Discover signed an agreement that allowed all UnionPay cards to be accepted on its Pulse network, and since 2006, all Discover cards have been accepted on CUP (China UnionPay) terminals. This means that acceptance of Discover increases whenever CUP increases its presence abroad. Furthermore, it is the only foreign card that can be readily accepted at a number of different vendors in China. Granted, the card is not without its downsides. Discover has made clear on its website that there is still some difficulty in getting Chinese vendors to accept Discover cards on their CUP terminals, so it has a wallet-sized instruction card available for print on its website. Nevertheless, anywhere one sees a CUP (银联) symbol, one can be sure his card will be accepted.

Getting access to capital in today’s cash-strapped environment can be extremely difficult for small businesses and start-ups, but it’s just as necessary as in any previous time. Credit cards are by no means a risk-free method of doing so but can be a great way for businesses who have a decent cash line, are looking to fortify their credit, and want to increase accountability when operating overseas, particularly in places like China. Lastly, it’s crucial to remember that just because credit cards are now a global phenomenon doesn’t imply that firms don’t need to understand local markets and how credit cards work in these situations.

Writer: Byron Meinerth, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’14


作者:Byron Meinerth
2013年12月09号

在华小型企业信用卡集资简介

对一家企业而言,有很多种方式可以为其目前或将来的项目筹集资金,比如,企业家可以用自己的积蓄投资,或者问亲朋好友借钱,从银行或者其他金融机构贷款。总体而言,小企业倾向于选择头两种方式来筹集资金,而对于较大的企业来说,它们具有一定的稳定性且出于需求考虑,往往有能力与大型的投资者合作。不同的集资方式效果不同,所隐含的风险程度也不同。不同规模的企业应该选择适合自身的集资方式。因此,充分理解以及能够正确选择合适的集资方式对企业家以及CFO来说都是非常重要的。

小型企业集资方式

本文说明了信用卡是小型企业以及个体企业集资的有效方式。本文提及的信息不仅对这些企业有帮助,对制定信用额度的金融机构来说也很有参考价值。对于小型但是稳定的企业来说,能够看到其他可能的集资方式是很重要的,比如信用卡。一般而言,小型企业可利用的资源较少,而员工个人承担的公司风险较大。有闲置资本的企业也可考虑这种方法,因为利用信用卡可以让企业有能力偿还债务并因此获得无息贷款。

虽然信用卡作为一种付款方式已被全世界的各大零售商接受,不同国家的人们使用信用卡的方式、频率、种类还是有差异的。为了更好地说明信用卡在中国的使用情况,我首先简要介绍了信用卡的发展历史,以及中国和其他国家、地区在企业方面的文化差异。

信用卡发展历史
在20世纪60年代,美国还没有出现银行透支业务,而在英国用信用卡透支却已经司空见惯了。银行业者希望寻求一种为客户提供信用额度的方法,以便客户进行大宗购物。而这种信用额度最初是通过邮件以及电话联系来实现的。后来,花旗银行针对那些不在他们实体银行网点服务范围内的客户推出一种叫Everything Card的信用卡。 刚刚出现的征信所记录人们的信用记录,这为信用卡的出现提供了可能。

这套信用体系迅速在北美和欧洲大陆推广,但中国在这方面的起步相对较晚。这一方面是由资金控制以及主要银行和政府的紧密合作造成的。另一方面,由于中国民众习惯用存款而不是借贷来集资,外国信用卡在中国的接受度不高。记住这一点很重要,因为虽然中国银联拥有比其他任何支付网络更多的流通卡,其中大部分只是借记卡而不是信用卡。

中国特色
前面已经提到,中国消费者喜欢用现金,而不是信用借贷来消费。但是在国外,用现金并不总是可行或者合适的。这个问题现在也基本不成问题了,因为全世界已经有超过135个国家接受银联这种支付方式。事实上,银联60%的交易都不是在中国大陆产生的,而是在那些中国消费者无法取得外国信用卡的地方发生的。然而,就2010年而言,全球最大的20家信用卡签发机构(评定标准为信用卡付款交易额)中有18家是美国公司,另外两家是英国的。

对于支付网络竞争方以及希望了解如何在国外集资的小型企业来说,以上提及的事实是很重要的。首先,这暗示着中国信用卡放贷市场仍有大量的拓展空间。其次,这也说明现在的中国经济仍然是极端依赖现金的,尤其是非一级城市的地区更是如此。

外国小型企业的中国机遇
外国企业来中国发展的机遇常常会因为实际的挑战而失色。这么说其实还不够。中国总是被说成是具有巨大消费潜力的市场,而事实却总是被忽略,比如中国廉价劳动力的流动性,对基础设施建设的大量投资以及家庭高储蓄率。在中国取得巨大成功的外企要么就是规模够大,能够跟国企组建合资企业,要么就是牌子够响,不用怎么宣传就有忠实的消费者。

那么小型企业既没规模又没品牌,就需要特别努力思考它们能在中国销售什么样的产品,能否获利,以及这样做有没有长期性(专利是否合格?与合作机构的合同是否合法?)外企在中国比较能够取得成功的领域主要包括高层次的技术,比如工业自动化产品,补充教育,以及医疗产品。这些领域的特点是跨国企业相对中国企业更具有能感知到的以及事实上的优势。
在国外以及在中国使用信用卡
如果使用信用卡集资,最受欢迎的信用卡分别为Visa, MasterCard以及American Express。使用信用卡有诸多优点,比如可以建立良好的商业信用,管理支出,计算税费,以及共享公司资金。不可否认的是,如果公司有员工在国外工作或者出差,就很难进行支出管理、税费计算或者使用公司资金。而如果使用 信用卡,这些问题就都解决了,因为信用卡可以自动将相关信息汇报给公司。

理论上说,出国用的公司信用卡进行异国交易是没有手续费的。虽然有很多信用卡不收取异国交易手续费,但是它们中有很多是高层次的卡,或者对存款额有要求,又或者需要交纳年费。对小型企业而言,免年费且年利率长期较低是最重要的。有奖励就更好了,但是很少有公司能够有效地利用这些奖励。换句话说,将工作相关的奖励(比如现金返还,常旅客里程数)落实到公司以及员工身上是不容易的。NerdWallet不断更新的表上包含了所有不收取任何异国交易手续费的信用卡。从这张表可以看出,Discover和CapitalOne的卡都不收取异国手续费。Discover最近改进了它们的信用卡,将一系列的卡归为两种,每种都有各自的特点,提供不同的服务。CapitalOne的信用卡种类更多,当然包括为企业度身定制的完全免费的卡。

就国际用途方面,CapitalOne很可能是最好的信用卡,但是Discover因为跟中国银联的合作更胜一筹。早在2005年,Discover和中国银联签订协议。该协议使得所有银联卡在Discover的Pulse网络上都能使用,而且2006年后,所有的Discover卡都能在银联终端上使用。这意味着银联在国外越普及,Discover也就越普及。而且Discover是唯一在多家中国商家使用的外国信用卡。Discover在它的网站上清楚地声明现在要在一些中国商家的银联终端机上使用它们的信用卡还有些困难,因此它们提供了一种钱包大小的指令卡。然而总体而言,只要某个商家印有银联标志,就可以使用Discover卡。

在当今社会,现金越来越少见了,而小型企业、刚起步的企业要想能够迅速取得资金变得十分困难,但这恰恰十分重要。在这方面,信用卡绝不是没有任何风险的。但如果有企业拥有相当现金储备,想要提升信用,并打算在国外,尤其是像中国这样的地方开办企业时能够提高可信度,那么信用卡可以成为非常好的工具。最后,虽然信用卡已经在全球普及了,这并不意味着企业不需要去了解地方市场以及信用卡如何在各地使用。记住这一点非常重要。

作者:Byron Meinerth,中美中心国际关系硕士2014
译者:王越,中美中心国际关系硕士2013

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