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Visa Inc, the global card payment services company, plans to provide financial education and services to over 5 million poverty-stricken people in Northeast China, to raise their level of financial knowledge.

It will partner with China Foundation for Development of Financial Education to build China Financial Inclusion and Education International Demonstration Zones over the next three years, in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The focus will be education for the rural population, and improving knowledge within local financial service providers.

"Over the past three years, we have participated in rural financial education activities in central and western China," said Charles W. Scharf, Visa's chief executive.

"The launch of a series of financial education and capacity-building programs has demonstrated our full commitment to continuously supporting the development of financial inclusion in China."

Visa has also formed a partnership with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation to conduct a mobile phone-based financial education pilot program in Inner Mongolia. Over the next three years, the payment giant will offer education to farmers and herders in eight poor counties in Inner Mongolia to promote Internet finance in the areas.

"The pervasive availability of low-cost technology, notably mobile phones, drives down the cost of transactions and provides convenient, safe and reasonably priced financial services to low-income individuals and communities," Scharf said.

In the past decade, Visa has been promoting financial education globally.

Last year, it made the commitment that by 2020 it will have provided another 500 million people with digital payment accounts as an entry point to the financial system.

China Foundation for Development of Financial Education said in addition to training, it would support rural financial infrastructure improvement, product innovation, payment channel expansion and credit system creation.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation has developed a set of financial training materials, such as those on fraud prevention.

Liu Wenkui, its secretary-general, said: "Poverty alleviation relies on education.

"We are committed to providing financial services to the rural market. As our business expands, the project will be promoted across China."

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A Visa employee introduces the company's mobile payment technology to visitors at its stand at an expo in Shanghai.Yong Kai / For China Daily

(China Daily USA 02/11/2016 page15)

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