The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is issuing the Peony Jiao Tong Visa in association with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Shanghai's largest payment card issuer and Visa International said the card is China's first cobranded university card program. The first person to receive one of the new cards was China's president, Jiang Zemin, a graduate of the university. Other dignitaries became cardholders during a launch of the card in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The Peony Jiao Tong Visa is the 19th cobranded card for Visa in China, the San Francisco-based association said. For example, Visa is issuing a salary card for more than 50,000 workers in two Shanghai steel plants, plus cobranded programs with state-run corporations and retailers.

University students, staff, alumni, and their families can apply for the Visa card, which will give them discounts at facilities on campus and on goods purchased from selected subsidiaries of the university, Visa said. More than 7,000 cards will be issued to the alumni and faculty immediately.

ICBC Shanghai has issued nearly 300,000 Peony cards and 1.9 million debit cards in the city, Visa said.

The program comes as Visa expands the services available to Visa cardholders visiting China. Four of China's key cities, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai have been connected to the Visa network, which allows Visa cardholders to get local currency from automated teller machines bearing the Visa/Plus logo.

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