The People’s Bank of China implemented a non-bank payment regulation on Friday to limit paying with the balances of third-party payment systems.
The regulation divides the third-party payment accounts into three categories: those verifying their identity through one “external channel”, including binding bank cards and uploading identification card information, those through three identification channels, and those through five channels.
Since Tuesday, Chinese law has required real-name registration for app users. The payment limit on the first category is a non-renewable, lifelong cap of RMB 1,000 (USD 150). The limit on the second category is RMB 100,000 per year, and the limit on the third is RMB 200,000 per year.
That is to say, the highest amount for users of third-party payments, including Alipay and WeChat, is RMB 200,000 per year, even if they have gone through the complex process of real-name verification.
The regulation will most likely have little impact on average users, since their online banking transactions probably will not reach RMB 200,000 a year. However, the story is totally different for businesspeople whose payments are mostly made through Alipay.
According to a report by Chinese news website zol.com on Thursday, if the payment amount per order is over RMB 200, or the aggregate amount per day is over RMB 5,000, users will have to pay with their bank cards.
However, a report by Sina Tech on Friday said that Alipay users can evade the limit problem if they transfer the balances of their Alipay account to their bank cards, and then pay with that same bank card. But, if a WeChat user fails to verify his indentity information, he will probably not be able to send or receive red envelops in WeChat!
(Top photo from pymnts.com)