The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has expressed its concerns following two initiatives launched by Ant Financial – the parent company that runs Chinese mobile payments platform Alipay. Earlier in August, the company launched two different “cashless weeks”, during which merchants from selected cities were strongly encouraged to exclusively accept Alipay, giving participating users a chance to win financial rewards ranging from 10 cents to $700.
Alipay is a mobile paymentA transfer of funds which discharges an obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis a payee. More platform created by Alibaba group in 2004 and has recently become the world’s largest mobile payment app, overtaking PayPal and its Chinese competitor WeChat – a micro-messaging platform that also acts as payment instrumentDevice, tool, procedure or system used to make a transaction or settle a debt. More. Although Alipay is reserved for consumers owning a Chinese bank account, it counts over half a billion users. The participating companies were not forced to refuse cashMoney in physical form such as banknotes and coins. More during the promotion, but according to Fawan newspapers, some did so. About 10 million retailers took part in the campaign across the country, causing the People’s Bank of China to worry that this aggressive promotion of cash-free shopping might have lasting consequences on the yuan.
The central bank released a notice to its regional offices explaining that Alipay’s cashless action has affected the normal currencyThe money used in a particular country at a particular time, like dollar, yen, euro, etc., consisting of banknotes and coins, that does not require endorsement as a medium of exchange. More flow and created misunderstandings among the public. Moreover, the bank urged its local branches to rectify the matter and use appropriate actions to help restore financial stability. Before the cashless weeks launch, the PBoC also asked Ant Financial to carry out a “low-profile action” to avoid an undesired anti-cash campaign. The bank affirms that such challenges may arise again in the future as digital payments are set to become ever more popular in the country.
The central bank of China is not the first one to sound the alarm regarding anti-cash actions. In March 2016, the central bank of Sweden – a country that is also well ahead in the race towards cashless – warned commercial banks not to reduce cash services too fast to ensure a smooth transition and avoid the exclusion of people relying on paperSee Banknote paper. More moneyFrom the Latin word moneta, nickname that was given by Romans to the goddess Juno because there was a minting workshop next to her temple. Money is any item that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular region, country or socio-economic context. Its onset dates back to the origins of humanity and its physical representation has taken on very varied forms until the appearance of metal coins. The banknote, a typical representati... More. The purpose is to help consumers find alternative solutions instead of imposing a sudden ban on cash – as Alipay’s campaign almost did in several areas.