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Central Bank Provides Bank Cards for Migrants
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The 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 Thursday.


Su said, with a pilot bank card service operating smoothly in Guizhou Province, the service will be extended to Hunan, Henan, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Fujian, Shandong, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guangxi. All member banks of China UnionPay 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.


About 100 million rural migrant workers bring money home every year. However, there is an inadequate rural remittance system. It fails to provide convenient, safe and rapid money transfer, forcing many to carry cash on the long journey home.


The pilot service was launched in December. As of the end of June, the total transaction volume reached 24.5 million yuan (US$3.06 million).


Su 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 7, 2006)

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