B2B Payments

China Central Bank Moves To Boost Cross-Border Payments Efficiency

China’s central bank is reportedly looking to enhance the efficiency of cross-border payments by lengthening the operating hours of its payments clearing system for high-value transactions.

According to news from Reuters on Wednesday (Jan. 3), three unnamed sources said China’s central bank will open up the nation’s large-value payment system to operate 21 hours, beginning Jan. 22. The system will be open from 11:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. the next day, and operate Monday to Friday.

Sources said the clearing window will be open from 9:15 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

According to reports, lengthening operating windows times means the nation’s payment system will be able to process high-value transactions overnight; Chinese officials hope this will strengthen the renminbi’s position in the global markets.

The Chinese yuan has climbed the ranks as an international currency, but data released last January from SWIFT found that use of the renminbi declined, with the Canadian dollar overtaking the yuan as the fifth-most used currency in 2016.

SWIFT data released in 2016 also found that the euro surpassed the Chinese yuan for use in global trade finance.

“The general slowdown of the Chinese and world economies over the past few years has impacted global trade growth across all currencies, not just the RMB,” said SWIFT Head of Payments Markets in Asia-Pacific Michael Moon in a statement at the time. “For example, commodities trade growth has been declining as evidenced by the reduction of documentary trade.”

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