U.S. card network Visa has submitted a license request to China's central bank to operate in the Chinese market, according to an emailed response on Friday.
As stated in the response, representatives of the company hope to tap into the Chinese market, stating they were hopeful the People's Bank of China was able to approve the application.
US-based card company MasterCard was also preparing to submit a license request, according to the email.
Ajay Banga, chief executive officer of Mastercard, said the company has been finalizing the application in a meeting in July.
"We are working through our options for a joint venture or a 100 percent Mastercard application, and we expect to make a decision on this and it should be filed soon," he said.
Banga added it was just another step in the process that will likely play out in the next 12 to 18 months as there were several review cycles from the Chinese regulators.
China is set to become the world's largest payment market by 2020, according to research firm Global Data Plc.