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Beijing steps up efforts to enhance payment systems for foreigners

Updated: Apr 3, 2024 By Liu Zhihua Print
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This undated photo shows the logo of Alipay, China's leading mobile and online payment service. [PHOTO/CHINA DAILY]

Chinese capital Beijing is expected to step up efforts to enhance payment services for foreigners in China, as part of the country's broader endeavors to improve the business climate and expand high-level opening-up.

In a meeting held on Thursday, government officials from the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, and the city, as well as executives from branches of major financial institutions in Beijing, outlined a key focus for the city to accelerate efforts and amplify resource input to achieve more progress in facilitating payment for foreigners.

Those key areas include improving foreign bank card acceptance, cash usage, mobile payment as well as other bank account services.

Zhang Qingsong, deputy governor of the PBOC, said that a series of moves adopted by Beijing city, including its initiative of a guideline on enhancing payment services issued on Tuesday, have demonstrated the city's keenness to follow the directives from the central leadership as well as the great importance it has attached to the issue.

"For the next step, I believe the joint efforts made by the municipal government of Beijing and the financial system will set a good example to motivate other regions to follow and improve payment services for foreigners and narrow the digital gap for seniors in full swing," Zhang said.

The deputy governor suggested local branch of the PBOC and the Beijing municipal bureau of financial regulation further motivate commercial banks to pay more attention to key payment scenarios and key tasks and strengthen onsite supervision.

He stressed that commercial lenders are expected to increase resource investment to advance relevant works as scheduled so that more solid results will be achieved in April.

He also urged improving the availability of cash, particularly small denominations.

Jin Wei, vice-mayor of the capital, urged the districts of the city to formulate respective working mechanisms as soon as possible, to identify key tasks and responsibilities and therefore promote the relevant works.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, released a guideline that coordinated the efforts of various authorities on improving payment services on March 7.

The Chinese capital has established a municipal-level working mechanism involving more than 20 city-level government units on the matter and introduced the action plan for optimizing payment services with a clear focus on tasks and objectives.

It has also established demonstration zones for payment services to inbound visitors at airports, comprehensively enhanced acceptance environments for various payment scenarios, and strengthened publicity and promotion, therefore continuously improving the quality and efficiency of payment services for seniors and foreigners in Beijing.

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