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Money transfer

Pete B (8 posts) • 0

Hi since the first lockdown we have stayed in the UK we have sent some money via bank transfer to my sister in law who lives in Chuxiong after nearly 3 weeks she is unable to get the money first they asked how we got the money then a copy of my wife’s passport was needed still they haven’t put the money in her account can anybody on this site recommend any way to transfer money into China

JanJal (1162 posts) • 0

Don't know if your problem is this, but regulations changed a couple of years ago, that Chinese banks started requiring a message in the bank transfer indicating what the money from abroad is for.

Initially after the change my bank transfer got stuck in Bank of China, and they didn't even inform me in any way - I had to go ask in person where's my money. It was cleared the same day if I recall correctly.

I started putting "money for living expenses in China" in the message field, and no problem since then. In your situation of sending to a relative in China rather than for your own use, may be more complicated.

michael2015 (750 posts) • 0

For years I've tried to transfer funds from abroad directly into CNY and each time it's failed. Finally gave up and just used SWIFT to transfer USD directly, which requires a trip to the main branch EVERY time to clear the funds for transfer into my account (USD savings), then convert to CNY. The process is much smoother these days, now that they're used to me and is down to about 20 minutes, not including commute time and waiting in line at the bank for the special window that handles international wire transfers. Previously I had to clear the wire, then go get a ticket and wait for the regular transactions window to convert - but seems they've streamlined the process (for now) and I can do everything with the same staff that clears the international wire xfer.

I've successfully used Xoom to transfer CNY to friends, but it's a PayPal company and comes with a slew of nominal fees which add up over time, so not an ideal situation for regular transfers. It's also kind of a pain for your friends. Xoom to myself was rejected for an unknown reason and I included the message that it's a transfer to myself - but I'll try again using JanJal's message instead. SWIFT transfers are a major problem if you're traveling as you'll need to go to a main branch in whatever city you're in AND you'll need to be in a major city, assuming it's even possible (probably only with significant difficulty if at all).

If you're married to or have excellent financial trust relationships with a Chinese citizen - there's an alipay mechanism to transfer USD to CNY from abroad, but I've never been able to get it registered - they say it's "not available" for foreigners...unless you have a green card with a somewhat normal ID card number.

Swapsy works pretty well but it'll cost USD 10-20 to buy "swapsy credits" which permit swapsy trades and as noted in my previous message, many P2P traders won't accept transactions from PayPal China users as it incurs Paypal fees. So you'll need an offshore PayPal account also - so you can add swapsy/paypal traders to family & friends which doesn't incur PayPal to PayPal fees.

JanJal (1162 posts) • +1

@michael2015: " I'll try again using JanJal's message instead. SWIFT transfers are a major problem if you're traveling as you'll need to go to a main branch"

Actually I've used the message specifically with SWIFT transfers, and with that have been able to get it cleared without going to any branch.

michael2015 (750 posts) • 0

@JanJal
Thanks for the reply.

1. Which bank are you using?

2. Can you receive SWIFT funds in CNY?

CCB has been a great bank for me with this single exception, as they seem to enjoy having me come in person EVERY time to complete the transfer into my FOREX account. It's super annoying and is the reason I keep looking for legal alternative ways to import offshore USD funds without this really troublesome process.

I live part time in a rural county outside Yunnan - and the CCB bank here specifically told me non-Yunnan CCB cards and Yunnan CCB cards are not the same, so I'll have to return to Yunnan to process any SWIFT transfers. They also told me I need open a new CCB account in this province, in a larger city and then travel there any and every time I need to clear the SWIFT funds, personally.

@Livinginchina
Wester Union requires a personal trip to a western union branch with your passport. I'm really lazy and want to do everything electronically, if possible.

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