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China's Top Five Banks Waive Fees on Mobile Banking Money Transfers

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications recently issued a joint statement on waiving fees on renminbi transfers within the country. They will complete the class identification of existing accounts and start customer information verification before 1 April to facilitate customers who wish to open accounts in another bank or open micropayment accounts. 

According to this joint statement, fees on renminibi transfers between accounts held at any of these five banks via mobile banking within the country would be waived with effect from 25 February 2016. Customers will also be able to make online money transfers for free if the amount does not exceed Rmb5,000.

The Circular on Improving Personal Bank Account Services and Strengthening Account Management issued by the People's Bank of China on 25 December 2015 asked commercial banks to further strengthen the real-name system for bank accounts, improve personal settlement account services, and set new guidelines to facilitate depositors in opening and using personal accounts. After issuing the above-mentioned joint statement, the five banks conscientiously implemented the real-name system for personal bank accounts, further strengthened customer information protection, strictly carried out identity verification when opening accounts, and tried hard to prevent account information leakage.

According to the regulations of the People's Bank of China on the account classification system, the five banks will complete the differentiation and identification of Class I, II and III accounts before 1 April, make haste to complete the system change, assist customers in opening Class II and III accounts online or using self-service equipment, and satisfy the demand of customers for services, such as making deposits, purchasing wealth investment and other financial products, and making purchases and payments within specified limits.

The five banks will automatically open Class III accounts for customers in view of the growing trend of Internet scams and online payment risks. After activation, customers may use these accounts to make payments for small purchases and fees to designated non-bank payment accounts. This way of separating the "coffer" and the "wallet" will effectively protect the security of funds.

In order to promote inter-bank cooperation, the five banks will proceed to carry out account information verification and provide customers with fast and efficient inter-bank online account opening service. The five banks will call on society and the banking and financial institutions to make a joint effort to improve internal account management, deepen industry cooperation, and provide customers with more open, efficient, safe and well-linked bank account services on the basis of the real-name system for bank accounts.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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