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PBOC urges Shanghai financial institutions to improve foreign payment services

By Zhou Lanxu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-16 16:20

The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, has urged financial institutions in Shanghai to further intensify efforts to improve payment services for foreign visitors with relevant efforts having already reaped positive progress.

In a meeting with financial institutions in Shanghai on Friday, the PBOC called on them to accelerate efforts and amplify resource input to achieve more progress in facilitating foreign bank card acceptance, cash usage, mobile payment and bank account services.

It was pointed out at the meeting that Shanghai, as an international financial center, has made positive strides in optimizing payment services. Foreign cards have been accepted in more of the key scenarios such as airports, train stations, star-rated hotels and major commercial districts and a rising number of ATMs have supported cash withdrawals with foreign cards.

This was part of the country's intensified efforts to simplify the payment process for foreign visitors, with the State Council, China's Cabinet, having released a guideline that coordinated the efforts of various authorities on this matter on March 7.

The PBOC has outlined a timetable and roadmap for putting into place the relevant measures and published a payment guide on Thursday that provided foreigners with text and graphic instructions on using bank cards, cash, mobile payment and e-CNY in China.

During Friday's meeting, Wang Lijuan, Alipay's general manager, said that foreign visitors can now access mobile payments in China by both using a certain overseas e-wallet to scan the Alipay QR code and downloading the Alipay app and binding it with a foreign card.

Tens of millions of merchants in China now support the two types of payment methods, Wang said, adding that foreigners can use Alipay to take a bus or subway in Shanghai.

In terms of cash usage, Fu Jie, head of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's Shanghai branch, said the bank has equipped all its branches in Shanghai with small-denomination "change wallets" priced at 200 yuan (¥27.8) each and is gradually collaborating with taxi companies to provide more "change wallets" for taxi drivers.

Shi Jing in Shanghai contributed to this story.

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