China's Central Bank is carrying out some major changes to local banks. The changes are set to go into effect on December 1.
How will the new rules affect your personal bank account? We've outlined some of the key changes below.
1. Customers can now only have one debit card per bank.
Under the old regulations, customers could have multiple Type I (debit card) accounts. The new rules limit that to one per bank*.
Here's a quick overview of Type I, II and III accounts...
* If you applied for multiple cards of the same type per bank before the new regulations were launched, they will still be valid. But applying for a new card of the same type will no longer be allowed.
These are the traditional accounts that are opened at the standard counters. They are the safest and offer access to cash, financial plans, transfers, payments and more. These types of accounts have no limit.
These are mainly used for financial planning and payments. Type II accounts have a payment limit of RMB10,000 per day, though financial plans are not included.
These accounts are used for small expenses and payments on platforms like WeChat Wallet and Alipay. The payment limit for these accounts is RMB5,000 per daywhile the balance is RMB1,000. The new rules also state that there will be limits on transfers starting from December 1.
2. No more bank fees when you travel around China!
All transregional transfer, deposit, withdrawal and transcation fees from banks will be canceled under the new regulations. That means if you opened your bank account in Shanghai but want to withdraw money in Beijing, you'll no longer have to worry about any additional fees. Fees between different banks still apply.
3. Accounts with no activity for six months will be frozen.
Pretty self explanatory. If your account is suspended for lack of activity, you'll need to go to your bank to unblock it.
4. Bank transfers can now be recalled.
This seems like a pretty useful new function!
Normally when you transfer money in China, you have three different options: real-time, standard and next-day transfers. If you transfer money at the ATM, the money typically gets sent to the other account within 2 hours.
According to the new regulations, the money will be sent within 24 hours. While the period is longer, that will now give you option to recall your transfer as long as you do it within that 24 hour window.
[Images via People's Daily, Apple Daily, Wordpress, Yoyo Chinese]