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JCB is a Japanese credit card company, operating Japan’s only internationally issued credit card brand. At the time of writing (2016), the card was being issued in around 20 different countries across the world, with around 90 million unique card holders, with around 20 million of these issued and in use in overseas countries outside Japan. It is used particularly widely in China and the United States.

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JCB is short for Japan Credit Bureau, which was founded in 1961, becoming the dominant force in the Japanese credit card market when it took over the Osaka Credit Bureau in 1968. The 1980s saw an expansion into the international market, where it has established licensing agreements, enabling affiliated financial organisations to issue its branded cards. In the United States, for example, it does not have a recognised network of issuers, like Visa or MasterCard, but is instead licenced and accepted via the American Discover network. This arrangement began in 2001 and has successfully continued to the present day. Local JCB accounts can be opened in the United States, but only in certain areas, such as California and New York. Although the card is therefore not available to apply for nationwide, existing card holders can use their cards wherever the Discover Network is recognised.

The company’s brand motto is “Uniquely Yours”, and it does try to promote an image of exclusivity in the international market. It focuses on international travel in a way which mirrors the marketing efforts of the major American charge cards Diners Club and American Express, which also have a reputation for exclusivity and privilege. JCB provides a network of membership lounges for its card holders at airports across the world, specifically targeting travellers in East Asia, Europe and North America. This strategy has evolved from the original international launch in the 1980s, when the card tended to be accepted only by tourism-related businesses such as airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and Japanese speciality retailers. Nowadays, it is much more widely accepted as licencing agreements have been arranged and the brand has grown. The new strapline replaced the original catchphrase “Good Times Start Here” in 2015, marking the beginning of a new international marketing campaign.

JCB credit cards operate exactly like any other credit card typically issued throughout the world, with the usual chip and pin technology and security measures, such as the unique code on the signature strip on the back of the card, which is used as an additional security measure to authorise payments. Charges vary dependent on the issuing bank and the card holder’s status, but are typical for credit cards in general.

This Japanese banking giant does not currently have a licencing partner in the United Kingdom, so the JCB credit card cannot be issued here. Online payments can of course still be made by current card holders in the United Kingdom, so some online bingo companies will accept it as payment for their services. To find out which payment methods are acceptable on which online bingo site, always check the great site review service at Busy Bee Bingo.

There are no sites in our directory accepting JCB.

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