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Migrant Workers to be Provided with Bank Cards

People's Bank of China will provide special bank cards to migrant workers in 12 provinces, autonomous regions and cities, Su Ning, vice governor of the central bank, announced on Wednesday.

Su said, with a pilot bank card service operating smoothly in southwest China's Guizhou Province, the service will be further extended to Hunan, Henan, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Fujian, Shandong, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guangxi. All member banks of China Union Pay can issue such bank cards.

The bank cards will enable migrant workers to deposit money in accounts in the cities in which they work and withdraw money from branches of the rural credit cooperatives near their homes in rural areas.

China has 100 million rural migrant workers who bring back hundreds billion yuan to their home every year. However, there is an inadequate rural remittance system which fails to provide convenient, safe and rapid money transfer, which results in many of them being forced to carry cash on the journey home.

The pilot service was launched in Guizhou in December 2005. As of the end of June, the total transaction volume reached 24.5 million yuan (US$3.06) with a monthly average growth rate of 54.2 percent.

Su Ning said the 12 provinces and regions involved in the scheme are major exporters of rural migrant workers and enjoy adequate rural credit cooperative systems.

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2006)

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