MasterCard Inc. has moved forward in its efforts to become a bigger player in the Chinese payments industry under a new agreement with China UnionPay, the country's national bank card association.

The Purchase, N.Y., credit card network said Thursday that it recently signed a service agreement with China UnionPay that will allow MasterCard's Payment Gateway to process UnionPay card transactions made at e-commerce merchants outside mainland China. MasterCard also said it and UnionPay signed an extension to a memorandum of understanding they announced in September to cooperate on developing services for online and other payment areas.

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