PBOC unveils multilingual payment services guide to facilitate foreigners' payment services

2024-04-23 09:05:10Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, on Monday released the South Korean language version of a guide to payment services for foreigners visiting Zhangjiajie in Central China's Hunan Province, one of the fresh efforts to facilitate payment for foreigners and promote high-level opening-up.

Experts said the move fully reflects the country's sincerity in opening-up and will contribute positively to the recovery of consumption.

It's not the first time that the PBOC has rolled out a manual on payment services for targeted foreign visitors. On Friday, it released a Russian version for foreigners coming to South China's Hainan Province. The brochure provides detailed information on payment methods in the province, including foreign bank card payments, yuan cash payments, digital yuan payments and domestic bank card processing and use.

It released similar guides, like a manual in Japanese for foreigners visiting Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province and one in Vietnamese for foreign visitors to South China's Guangxi.

"The introduction of multilingual payment service guides is a direct reflection of the sincerity of China's opening-up. It not only facilitates payment operations for expatriates in China, but also conveys an international image of friendliness and tolerance," Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

Wang said that the recent moves are in line with new measures introduced on March 16 by the PBOC, the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The notices came in response to the growing demand for diverse payment services in the commercial sector.

With a focus on improving payment convenience for various groups, mainly the foreign visitors and the elderly, the notice targets key areas such as bank card acceptance, cash payments, mobile payments, account services and publicity efforts. This aims to foster an inclusive and diverse payment environment.

Specifically, the measures outlined in the notice encompass various locations such as large business districts, pedestrian streets, shopping malls, department stores, chain supermarkets, restaurants and duty-free shops.

Wang said that convenient and efficient payment services can attract more consumers, both domestic and foreign, thereby stimulating economic growth. In addition, the improvement enhances the country's international image and will attract more international tourists and investors.

"Mobile payments have developed rapidly in Shanghai, and there are many scenarios where I can use them. My friends helped me learn how, and I found it very convenient and safe. I could carry less cash and didn't have to worry about counterfeit bills," a Russian traveler who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced at a press conference on March 18 that in the first quarter of 2024, immigration management agencies nationwide processed more than 141 million trips, a year-on-year increase of 117.8 percent.

According to an immigration administration spokesperson, the number of foreigners arriving in China in the first quarter more than tripled compared with the same period in 2023.

Foreigners mainly visited as tourists, accounting for more than 30 percent of arrivals, followed by business, visiting relatives and friends, work and study, according to the NIA.

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