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China's central bank regulates forced cashless payment

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-14 23:28

BEIJING - China's central bank is taking measures to ban business practices of refusing or discriminating against cash payments to deal with over-hype of a cashless society.

Some consumers have complained about being denied the ability to use cash in places like tourist areas, restaurants, and retail stores, which harms the legal status of the Chinese yuan as well as consumers' rights to choose means of payment, according to a statement released Friday by the People's Bank of China.

Banking institutions and non-banking payment platforms should not require or induce business entities or individuals to refuse or take discriminatory measures against cash payments, and these practices should be rectified within one month, the statement pointed out.

Mobile payments are popular across the country with a growing community of consumers using WeChat Pay, Alipay, and other mobile payment tools to pay for a wide range of products and services.

A report from global market research firm Ipsos showed that China reached about 890 million mobile payment users in the first half of this year.

For product sales or services from online or unstaffed stores, cashless payment only is allowed if cash payments are impossible.

However, businesses and individuals should not hype up the "cashless" idea when promoting non-cash payment, the central bank said.

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