China’s Cross-border Renminbi Payments System Saw over 75% Increase in Sums Processed in 2021


China saw surging growth in usage of its cross-border renminbi payments system in 2021, despite the impacts of the Covid pandemic as well as heightened tensions with key Western trading partners such as the United States.

The Cross-border Interbank Payments System (CIPS) processed a total of 3.3416 million transactions in 2021, for an increase of 51.55% compared to the year previously, according to figures from the “2022 China Payments Industry Annual Report” (中国支付产业年报2022) released by the Payment and Clearing Association of China (PCAC) on 15 June.

These cross-border transactions were worth 79.60 trillion yuan, for a rise of 75.83% compared to 2020.

CIPS was first launched in 2015 by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), as part of efforts to internationalise the renminbi by providing clearing and settlement services for cross-border payments and trade.

A number of foreign banks serve as shareholders in CIPS, including ANZ, BNP Paribas, Citi, DBS Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.