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American Express exits Hungarian retail market

Hungaryʼs OTP Bank will recall all retail American Express (Amex) bank cards by January 31, 2018, replacing them with Mastercard Bónusz cards, reports online news portal index.hu. Since only OTP has issued retail Amex cards, the move signals the latterʼs departure from the retail segment in Hungary.

Index.hu reports that the cooperation between OTP and American Express is being discontinued with the move, long rumored on the market.

The report notes that no great change can be expected on the domestic retail card market, since among the three global leaders - Mastercard, Visa and Amex - the former two have enjoyed a significantly stronger presence in Hungary than the latter.

Amex maintains distribution of its corporate cards in its own hands, so these cards may remain in the corporate segment in Hungary.

Index.hu reports that OTP will stop issuing new retail Amex cards from July 17, while old ones will be exchanged from the date of their expiry, but by January 31 at the latest. It adds that Amex cards will presumably continue to be accepted at tourist outlets.