China UnionPay is in discussions with Hong Kong lenders interested in acting as additional merchant-acquiring banks, which would help facilitate the use of yuan credit cards by mainland tourists. At present, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) is the sole merchant-acquiring bank in Hong Kong. Hong Kong merchants that accept yuan credit-card transactions are compensated by BOCHK in Hong Kong dollars. BOCHK is in turn paid in Hong Kong dollars from UnionPay. Mainland tourists have been able to use their yuan credit cards in Hong Kong since January 18. China UnionPay, which connects 29 mainland lenders and their credit card customers to more than 4,000 points of sale in Hong Kong, was in talks with other lenders, sources said. No names were disclosed but Bank of East Asia has explicitly stated it hopes to become a merchant-acquiring bank for yuan credit cards within six months. Other big players are also understood to be vying for the business. Additional merchant-acquiring banks would allow more shops in Hong Kong to accept yuan credit cards. This could help lower commissions charged on yuan transactions. A Sa Sa International Holdings spokeswoman said fees for yuan credit cards were higher than Hong Kong credit cards but she refused to provide details. Sources said BOCHK charged a commission of between 2 per cent and 3 per cent for each transaction. The proportion of fees the card issuer, UnionPay and merchant-acquiring banks share has not been disclosed. Shanghai-based UnionPay operates the mainland's national bank card payment system. Customers of the 29 mainland lenders permitted to accept Hong Kong sales are allowed to withdraw money from 1,100 automatic teller machines in Hong Kong, subject to a cap of $5,000 per day.