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3.4. Japan Credit Bureau

Japan Credit Bureau, usually abbreviated as JCB, is a credit card company based in Tokyo, Japan. Its English name is JCB Co., Ltd. (Kabushiki gaisha jē shī bī). The abbreviation is sometimes thought to stand for Japan Commerce Bank, but this is incorrect.

Founded in 1961, JCB established dominance over the Japanese credit card market when it purchased Osaka Credit Bureau in 1968 and its cards are now issued in 20 different countries. Fifty-nine million JCB cardmembers worldwide use their cards to purchase over US$62.7 billion of goods and services annually in 190 countries worldwide. JCB also operates a network of membership lounges targeting Japanese, Chinese, and Korean travelers in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Since 1981, JCB has been aggressively expanding its business overseas. Currently JCB cards are issued in 20 countries, most of which JCB is affiliated with financial institutions to license them to issue JCB-branded cards. All the international operation is conducted through its 100% subsidiary, JCB International Credit Card Co., Ltd.

In the United States, JCB is not as well known or as widely accepted as other credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Instead it is primarily accepted by tourism-related businesses such as airlines, car rental companies, and hotels. JCB is also increasingly accepted at businesses such as department stores, gas stations, and Japanese specialty retailers. JCB accounts in the United States are issued by JCBUSA, but are currently only available to residents of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

Additionally, on August 23, 2006, JCB announced an alliance with the Discover Network. The two companies have signed a long-term agreement that will lead to acceptance of Discover Network brand cards at JCB point-of-sale terminals in Japan and of JCB cards on the Discover network in the U.S.

JCB card


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