Important Updates Regarding Alipay and Sending Money Home…
source：Teach Abroad time：2019-11-07 11:35:22 read:187
Ok so we’ve got some good news and some kinda not so good news! Let’s get the bad news over with first as some of our teachers have been contacting head office recently about this. We all know the frustrations of trying to send money home. Unfortunately there are tighter and tighter regulations regarding the flow of capital out of mainland China. These are decisions made by central government and we are often playing catch-up trying to understand policy. Firstly, it must be said that it’s 100% possible and legal to transfer ALL your earnings out of mainland China to your home country. The office is happy to help with the official method of suppling tax information and making application at your local bank. However we know this is time-consuming and laborious and sometimes teachers require to transfer funds abroad in a hurry. The three popular methods have been Paypal, Alipay and Western Union.
Western Union proves very expensive. it’s also limited to some banks and declined at others. It requires your physical presence, fumbling translation and form upon form of writing. Moneygram is now Chinese owned and may prove an easier alternative in the future but at the moment most people consider Moneygram and WU expensive and time-intensive. Paypal has perviously been a source of transferring funds quickly. It required having two PayPal accounts, one in mainland China and the other overseas. However, reports of success with this method have diminished recently. It appears some bank cards are now being declined when transferring into Paypal. Thirdly, the most popular and easiest method, has been using Alipay with he aid of a Chinese friend. This is a great way to send money back home, However, you are 100% reliant on a trusted Chinese third party to help you. It’s something schools and businesses cannot operate as an official policy since it is not strictly above-board. It’s also apparent the sender is now receiving investigation calls from tax authorities to verify the authenticity of the transaction. It’s left everyone in a difficult situation. But but but…. we think we’ve fond another solution which is receiving rave reviews from expats across China.. introducing Swapsy. Please check out the website www.theswapsy.com and an interesting blog https://theswapsy.com/blog/the-cheapest-way-to-convert-rmb-to-usd-and-vice-versa. This website offers a P2P service connecting individuals looking to exchange RMB currency and overseas currency. The service is quick, easy and the fees incurred are extremely low. So far the people who have used this service have reported back positively. If you're needing to expedite modest amounts of money back home this could be the perfect solution. So let us reiterate, you can 100% successfully transfer your money home using the traditional and official method of bank transfer. Your Support Officer will assist you with this and there is also additional information on Echo’s website. For quick and easy transfers using Swapsy could be your new best friend!
So let’s announce the good news now! This is about using your foreign cards in China. When teachers first arrive they’re often bamboozled about Alipay and WeChat Pay. Hangzhou is near 100% cash-free society now and if you pull out traditional hard currency shop keepers and taxi drivers will give you a perplexed look! New teachers usually have to wait until their Chinese bank accounts are set-up before using Alipay and the services with Alipay like ordering Didi taxis and take-out food. This week, Alipay have announced it is possible for foreigners to use their overseas cards on Alipay when first arriving in China. Certain terms and conditions apply but overall we think this is great news for new arrivals and friends and family coming to visit China. T’s & C’s include;
• cannot transfer money to individuals (only pay by having merchants/retailers scan your QR code)
• can use it for up to 3 months only
• need to share your personal details to Alipay
• need to upload your Chines visa photo so I wouldn’t be surprised if you can only use this for tourist visas