Payment Choice is BETTER Safeguarded in China than in the UK! - Image 1

Payment Choice is BETTER Safeguarded in China than in the UK!

Posted on: 28/05/2024

China is a country seemingly dominated by mobile payments. With Alipay leading the way, mobile payments are said to have reached 86% penetration of the Chinese market.

And yet....

Earlier this month, China's central bank - People's Bank of China - fined seven businesses, among them a local KFC franchise, for rejecting cash payments. The fines, which ranged from RMB 3,000 ($414) to RMB 55,000 ($7,594) are part of an ongoing campaign to ensure physical currency remains accepted in the country. Branches of state-owned China Post Group, PICC Property and Casualty, and New China Life Insurance were also penalized. Further, in late 2023, the PBOC fined a Beijing branch of China Life Property and Casualty Insurance as well as car dealership Beijing Dashihang Century Motor Sales for refusing to accept cash.


Because the People's Bank of China realises that 14% of the population NOT participating in the “wonders” of AliPay leaves nearly 200 million members of the Chinese public potentially financially excluded.

Unless, of course, they are free to use cash, as the People's Bank of China rightly seems determined to ensure.

It is heartening to see China’s Central Bank taking a strong line on Payment Choice - and demonstrating a measure of independence from the Chinese government. Meantime, in the UK, HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England - the UK’s supposedly independent Central Bank - remain completely silent on Payment Choice.

Not nearly good enough.

The UK government has just announced a “Triple Lock Plus” in relation to State Pensions - BUT what’s the point of that if millions of pensioners are not allowed to pay with the cash they much prefer to use?

Financial exclusion by stealth?

Can it REALLY be true that People's Bank of China cares more about the Public Good - of which Payment Choice is a crucial element - than the British government?

If not, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt need to clearly state their committment to Payment Choice before the 4th of July.


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