Chinese Central Bank Tackles Refusal to Accept Cash Payments in the Wake of COVID-19

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has launched new measures to curb the refusal by businesses to accept payments in cash, following the roaring spread of digital payments throughout economy and an increased incidence of cash refusal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PBOC issued a public announcement on 15 December requiring that financial institutions provide cash payment channels at their business premises for transactions and fee payments with in-person customers.

According to PBOC a number of businesses and organisations in China continue to refuse to accept cash payments, despite efforts by regulators to rectify the issue over the past several years.

The problem of refusal to accept cash had seen a “rebound” in China in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave a strong boost to the use of digital payments during the implementation of quarantining measures.

A PBOC official said that the Chinese central bank would continue to “strengthen daily regulation (of cash acceptance) and use covert visits and other methods to get to the bottom of things and conduct inspections.”

PBOC will also establish a database of businesses that breach the rules in this regard and conduct targeted tracking.

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