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You Wanted Payments from India to China? …You got it!

Remitsy now supports sending Indian rupees to China

Since starting Remitsy we’ve been focused on supporting clients from North America and Europe, but we’ve always had a large number of enquiries from Indian businesses wanting to make payments to China.

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Payments from India to China have just got a whole lot better

Making payments to China from India can be tough, with small businesses usually forced to make payments in US dollars. This means each payment is hit with two exchange fees (INR  USD, USD CNY) and results in a pile of paperwork at both ends.

Well, we are happy to announce that from now on Remitsy allows Indian businesses to settle payments to China in rupees, with their business partners receiving Chinese yuan direct to their bank accounts.

We’re offering the service at our usual world-leading rates: converting INR to CNY at the real exchange rate (mid-market rate), plus a 1% fee. No fixed send or receive fees. And no surprises. There has probably never been a cheaper way of sending money to China from India.

Send money to China from India

Our payment process for Indian customers is slightly different from other send regions. See below for the steps required:

  1. Book your rate at
  2. Provide us with company verification documents (you’ll only need to do this once!)
  3. Wire INR to our local banking partner bank account
  4. Provide us with your wire reference number
  5. Remitsy deliver CNY to your supplier within 24 hours! 

If you’re a business in India and looking to make a payment, [get registered and check out our platform now]. We have 24/7 live (human!) English-language support to answer any questions you might have (I’m there too sometimes).

This is going to be a huge money & time-saver for the Indian small business community (and their Chinese business partners as well!).

Book payment to China on Remitsy

If you’d like to help us spread the word, we run an affiliate program [Remitsy Share]. For any businesses you introduce to us, we will share half of our fees with you. Worth inviting a friend or two!

We’re looking forward to expanding our service in India and expect this to be one of our most popular corridors. See you at Remitsy soon!

Neil WoodfineNeil Woodfine

Remitsy Mega-Update: What to Expect?

If you’ve been to recently you may have noticed things look a little different — we’ve just made a major upgrade of the site!

Before you head over to check out all the shiny new stuff, I’d recommend you read the following so that you know what to expect (for those short on time check out the summary of major changes at the bottom!).

Why the major update?

Since launching the Remitsy Beta site in December 2015, we’ve been rapidly onboarding all kinds of exciting businesses making payments to China. In addition to processing CNY payments for manufacturing and export, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the other uses people have found for our product.

For example we’re now the no.1 choice for businesses making payments to China freelancers and remote workers. Our Mass Payout API (private beta) has also proved to be a big draw for online platforms looking to deliver payments quickly and cheaply to their users in China.

We’ve been taking on board all the feedback from these users and have been trying to update the site to better suit their specific needs as fast as we can. However, we gradually realised that we needed a more flexible platform that would allow us to add features and resolve bugs at a faster pace.

Remitsy mega update introduces payments to businesses or freelancers in China.

The all-new select recipient type screen

So while we’re keeping the same speedy, blockchain-based payment processing backend, we’ve moved to a completely new frontend setup*. Expect us now to move a lot faster on our user feedback — so keep the great comments coming! We have a number of cool ideas of our own in the pipeline too…sending money to China is going to get a whole lot easier!

*For the dev geeks out there: we switched from Ember () to Bootstrap ().

What to expect?

For now, some of the key changes you’ll be seeing on the new site:

  • We’ve added a dedicated option to pay to personal accounts in China.
  • A world-first Alipay payment option. Remitsy is now the cheapest and fastest way to deliver cross-border payments to Alipay wallets.
  • The order of information requested for a payment booking has been changed to make the process more intuitive.
  • We’ve added a lot more directions and tooltips to help new users navigate the interface.
    Send amount limits for paying businesses and individuals have been made clearer.
  • Users can now manually enter their recipient’s bank account information (we’d still recommend putting this on the invoice).
  • The login button is a lot easier to find!

We think you’ll like the new site and find it easier to use. But as with any change we’re expecting a lot of questions. We’ve bumped up our team’s support hours, so you’ll find someone available on our livechat 24/7 to deal with any problems you might have.

Thanks for sticking with us… time to go check out the new site!

Neil WoodfineNeil Woodfine

Breaking the US Dollar Addiction

This article first appeared in June’s issue of FOCUS Magazine, the official publication of the China-Britain Business Council and British Chamber of Commerce in China. Learn how you can read the current issue here

Many British companies pay their Chinese business partners in US dollars, despite the fact they operate in British pounds. But for businesses based outside the US, relying on dollars can lead to hidden fees and unseen risks that can hurt your bottom line.

US dollar alternatives, USD, GBP, RMB, sending money to China, paying supplier in China

Don’t be limited by US Dollar. There are now other alternatives for payments to China (Picture: FOCUS Magazine)

Why Do We Use Dollars?

For developed economies, it’s more convenient. Businesses purchasing goods or services know their supplier abroad will accept dollars, and suppliers quote invoices in dollars because they know their partners can pay in them. But UK companies getting paid in pounds, and Chinese companies buying raw materials in RMB are both paying currency conversion fees for these same dollars.

The Hidden Cost of Conversion

Savvy travellers steer clear of airport currency conversions, but few businesses question banks when making overseas transactions. Businesses need to be diligent in performing their own conversion calculations and ensuring they understand the mid-market rate. This is the mid-point between the buy and sell price in the currency markets, increasingly known as the real exchange rate. Deviance from this rate means that money is being lost in the transaction. In the UK, converting from pounds to dollars means losing between one to four percent depending on the amount. Smaller payments lead to greater fees, which means small and medium-sized businesses pay the most. And while companies usually account for every expense, few record their exchange rate loss or their payment processing costs. Things are even more confusing on the supplier side, where the dollars received must be converted to RMB. Luckily, converting foreign currencies within China is a far cheaper transaction, with currency conversion losses ranging between 0.5 to one percent.

Putting a Price On Currency Risk

Owing to varying exchange rates, suppliers need to protect themselves from USD-CNY currency fluctuations. The time between issuing their invoices and receiving payment can take two to three months – and anything can happen. In August 2015, the RMB was devalued by over three percent in just two days. Buyers in the UK should also worry about currency risk. If British companies do not maintain US dollar accounts (at the expense of cash flow), a depreciating pound versus the dollar would mean more expensive goods or services when it comes to the settlement date. Europe’s more mature financial markets allow companies to hedge products to fix an exchange rate for a set time in the future. But Chinese suppliers are often forced to take a cruder approach; they increase the invoice’s value to include a ‘buffer’ against any potential currency fluctuation. In general, this currency risk hedge used by suppliers is around 5 percent. If the RMB devalues against the dollar, then the supplier wins twice – but is unlikely to pass the savings on to you.

Costing It Up

Taking all this into account, value leaks from every transaction. Small business might lose up to 10 percent per invoice, just for paying with dollars. The wrong approach is to see part of these losses as ‘not our costs’. The invoice price versus production cost is all that matters. By reducing your suppliers’ costs you should also decrease the costs of the goods or services being purchased.

Obstacles to Change: Tax Avoidance and Inertia

One factor behind Chinese suppliers’ preference for US dollar settlements is tax benefits. Exporters in China may set up offshore bank accounts in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. After receiving payments to these locations, the Mainland company re-invoices the offshore company at a lower price, leaving the majority of profits in offshore accounts – which, owing to looser financial regulations, are more liquid and flexible. Furthermore, the exporter only pays taxes on the small margin between their expenses and the new invoice. Despite the conversion costs, tax savings are a big incentive for suppliers to avoid seeking any other solution. Unfortunately, this can sometimes scupper attempts to improve the payment process.

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Breaking the US Dollar addiction in trade with China

Times are changing, however

China’s stellar economic growth is slowing, and regulators are realising that well-earned export profits are languishing outside the country’s coffers. On-shore settlement will soon be the only available option for payments to China, and suppliers will be looking to optimise margins. The other big obstacle to change is familiarity. Processes have been established around using US dollars in trade, and asking either company to upend years of tradition can be challenging.

What Are The US Dollar Alternatives?

As a British company making purchases from China, the obvious alternatives are RMB or pound settlements. Either option means that payments are only subject to one conversion loss, and one dimension of currency risk.

The Rise of the Redback

Increasingly, companies are turning to RMB settlement. By paying in RMB, the supplier no longer has to worry about currency fluctuations, and discounts should be more easily negotiated. According to a 2014 HSBC survey, 55 percent of Chinese suppliers are willing to give discounts of up to five percent if the buyer can settle in RMB. A prime example is British supermarket chain Tesco. Realising the possible savings gained through clever currency management, the company has insisted that all Chinese suppliers accept RMB settlement. By controlling the payment process, Tesco has minimised the value leakage during transactions.

Pounds Are Good Too

While Chinese suppliers should technically prefer RMB settlement, it’s not always an option – and in this case, UK businesses should push for invoices in pounds. This still pins the currency risk on the supplier, who will implement the usual price buffering. However, at least the payment undergoes only one conversion, which ideally should be performed within Mainland China where exchange rates are better.

Weighing Up Your Options

The US dollar is still, without a doubt, the world’s dominant currency, but thanks to a fast-evolving cross-border payment space, it is no longer the only option. Investigating new payment solutions takes time, but long-term rewards will more than cover the investment in research. It is no longer acceptable to ignore the costs of dollar overuse. By taking responsibility for the total cost of cross-border payments, businesses can improve their bottom line.

Neil WoodfineNeil Woodfine