Dear OnPay users:
Due to legal holidays in different regions of the world, there will be corresponding delays in the global deposits & withdrawals. We hereby would like to remind all important customers to make funding arrangements in advance.
The specific holiday hours for each business are as follows:
Withdrawal/Transfer/Collection of Foreign currencies:
November 11: There will be a delay in USD deposit and foreign currency payment requests.
November 14: Back to normal.
November 24: There will be a delay in requests of USD deposits and foreign currency withdrawal.
November 25: Back to normal.
*The above time points are all Beijing time. If you encounter any problems during this period, please contact your account manager promptly.
Thank you for your continued support and trust in OnPay!
OnPay Customer Operation Service Center
November 3, 2022
OnPay November 17, 2021
China is the world’s largest trading partner. The RMB trade settlement volume reached 6.77 trillion yuan in 2020. Despite this immense volume, international payments are riddled with issues such as long delays, high costs and considerable risks.
International payments, a thorny problem for international trade
International payments are under increasingly strict scrutiny from financial authorities around the world and several countries impose dire restrictions on international capital flow. Existing international payment and trade settlement solutions depend almost completely on the Swift system. Multiple institutions must cooperate to complete a payment settlement, the transfer takes up to 5 days, and the transaction fee costs up to 3% of the amount transferred, seriously impairing the efficient use of enterprise funds. Some enterprises use underground channels to exchange currencies and face the risk of having their bank accounts frozen and investigated.
Insufficient currency options
Only a few mainstream currencies can be transferred internationally. This increases the cost and complexity of trade payments for developing countries.
International SWIFT transfers involve multiple institutions and take up to 5 days.
International transfer fees cost up to 3% of the amount transferred.
Some enterprises use underground channels to exchange currency and face an accrued risk of having their bank accounts frozen and investigated by authorities.
Blockchain technology applied to international payments
The rapid development of the blockchain technology in the field of finance in the recent years allowed for a broader range of applications. The blockchain technology offers the clear advantage of peer-to-peer distributed shared ledgers, hence bypassing intermediaries to achieve reduced transaction costs and almost frictionless international funds transfers.
In China, the development of innovative applications of the blockchain technology, including international payments, is a declared government goal. On October 24, 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed at the 18th collective study of the Politburo of the Central Committee that “We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies[...] and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.” Various government organizations at all levels also issued policies to promote the research, development and application of the blockchain technology.
OnPay helps enterprises to collect and exchange international payments
Thanks to the blockchain technology, OnPay users can do without intermediary banks and not only enjoy fast and convenient international payments, but also benefit from the security inherent to the blockchain data structure.
OnPay supports 150+ currencies and serves countries and regions not covered by traditional payment services.
OnPay fiat reserves are safeguarded in licensed trusts held by internationally renowned banks.
Lower foreign exchange cost
Direct exchange instead of a double exchange to and from US dollars allows OnPay users to slash down their currency exchange costs.
Same day settlement is the norm, transfers can be completed as fast as 1 hour.
The blockchain technology allows fast, convenient and secure international payments.
This new payment model offers a simpler process. Enterprises can receive payments and exchange currencies as soon as they have completed the verification process.
OnPay solutions are applied to the fields of international trade, cross-border advertising, payment of expatriate workers wages, international studies, tourism, e-commerce, and more.
To this day, OnPay helped hundreds of small and medium enterprises to complete over 10,000 international transfers, and will continue to develop its market share and influence by providing the best and most reliable payment solution for SMEs.
OnPay November 17, 2021
Cross-border collection is a complex process that involves several intermediaries. Various problems arising from this complexity often hamper foreign trade enterprises’ normal operation. As a part of our market research, we contacted senior foreign traders from Zhejiang and Guangdong. We learned about the pitfalls they encounter and found out which issues concern them the most.
Local currencies exchange problems
"The traditional transfer channels support only a very limited number of currencies for cross-border collection. Most currencies can’t be transferred, they must be exchanged first.’’
——— A textile foreign trade company in Zhejiang
Out of 180 legal tenders currencies, only 10 are supported by traditional cross-border collection channels. Developing countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other regions have a great trade potential, but a limited access to foreign exchange
Nigeria, for example, is the most populous country in Africa and China's second largest export market in Africa. However, many Chinese traders face difficulties when comes the time to collect monies from that country.
The director of a textile company in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, said: "We export almost 20 million US dollars worth of textiles to Nigeria every year. Many customers there have neither RMB nor US dollars. They can only pay with Naira (the local legal tender tender currency). Because the traditional money transfer channels don’t support Naira, we must find a way to exchange it to RMB which involves high intermediate fees, foreign exchange losses and delays. Those costs can easily add up to 3% of the value of the trade.”
Friendly tip: When it’s not possible to use RMB or US dollars to settle a trade, clarify the payment due date and the collection channel as well as which party shall bear exchange losses and pay the handling fees. Pay close attention to transaction risks including compliance issues.
Long delays slow down the business cycle
"Collection takes a long time. Various documents must be reviewed by multiple parties. During this time, funds can’t be utilized. Delays hurt our rate of utilization of capital."
——— A furniture manufacturer in Zhejiang
Capital turnover is a crucial element in the success of a trading business. To this day, banks and other traditional payment services offer no alternative than old-school, slow and expensive transfers.
The director of a furniture manufacturer based in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, said: "We used TT wire transfers and letters of credit before. Payments often take three to five days to arrive; if there are multiple transit banks, the handling fee is deducted by each one. Certain banks sometimes require supplementary documents, making the delay even longer. The cost and speed of third-party transfers are slightly better, but this collection method isn’t regulated. If something goes wrong, there’s no recourse.”
Friendly tip: To optimize capital utilization, choose a collection method that suits your business model from angles such as timeliness, cost, risk management, and compliance.
Safety of funds and compliance
"Frozen funds are our biggest headache."
——— A machinery foreign trade company in Guangzhou
Since 2020, many Chinese international trade companies had their bank accounts frozen. Mr. Wang, who manages an international trading company specialized in machinery parts in Foshan, Guangzhou, said that the two local Agricultural Bank cards he used to collect money were frozen by authorities in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, in July 2021 because the sending account had been flagged for suspected fraud and money laundering.
"In the past, only the four major Chinese would freeze clients accounts. Now this also happens with small banks." said Mr. Wang. "We have 7 million RMB of enterprise funds frozen in an account, and over 3 million RMB of payments we can’t receive. There’s also a 4 million RMB bank loan that has nothing to do with the case, but it’s frozen as well." We provided authorities with all supporting documentation, all we can do now is wait for the result of the investigation.
Friendly tip: For reasons of cost and convenience, foreign traders often use underground channels to settle transactions. However, funds coming coming from underground channels are at a high risk of being flagged as suspicious and could cause the receiving account to be frozen indefinitely.
Collecting money in high-risk areas
"It’s difficult to collect money from customers in high-risk areas. Transfers are often denied."
——— A foreign trade company in Zhejiang
The links and processes of cross-border payment are complex, and it is easy to infiltrate illegal and criminal funds, especially for sanctioned countries or entities, money laundering and crime high incidence areas, banks and financial institutions in various countries will have relatively strict supervision and risk control measures. Reflecting on the level of domestic and foreign traders, for the capital transactions in high-risk areas, banks and payment institutions will ask for more review information, and some foreign traders will also encounter the situation that customer remittances are returned.
The manager of an international trade company based in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, said: "The new AML rules make it much harder to do business with developing countries. Customers in these areas are subjected to a stricter bank risk control than in Europe and United States. Collection can be quite a challenge. Funds are often returned".
Friendly tip: In high-risk countries or regions, banking supervision is more stringent. Traders must be aware of that risk when receiving cross-border transfers. Document and keep a record of every transaction to better deal with the authorities scrutiny. Whenever possible, use RMB instead of US dollar as a remittance currency. Use only reputable third-party payment agencies to transfer US dollars in order to reduce the risk of review.
A glimpse of hope for high-risk regions
The path to international collection is still treacherous in high risk regions. Traders will inevitably encounter trouble on the way. They must keep a balance between capital security and compliance with regulation when choosing a collection method.
Fortunately, new solutions for cross-border collections are now emerging. OnPay uses the blockchain technology to build a new way of transferring assets, allowing for collection and exchange of foreign currency a fast as 1 day. OnPay’s reserves are held in licensed trusts safeguarded by internationally renowned banks. OnPay supports local currency collection in more than 150 countries in Europe, America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.