Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC)

Guide to Cross-border Personal Financial Services for short-term visits to China

When doing business with China or when traveling to China, it is important to know how to access and use various payment methods.

There are three main options for visitors to pay when in China: with international cards, online payment and cash services.

Bank of China (BOC) accepts international cards like Visa, UnionPay, Mastercard etc. This solution permits the withdrawal of funds from ATMs that are linked to BOC, as well as payment at merchants affiliated with BOC, such as airports, hotels, stores, and supermarkets.

When it comes to online payments, you can use apps like Alipay, WeChat or e-CNY, which include an e-wallet and allow you to scan QR Codes to pay. This option works by registering your card on the application for you to pay quickly and easily with your phone. You can also apply for a domestic debit card in China, which you can link to your overseas card and use to swipe on the POS machine.

Cash exchange services are another possibility. BOC provides settlement and sale services to up to 38 currencies. You can find many currency offices or self-services at airports, ports and hotels, allowing you to exchange your foreign banknotes for RMB banknotes.

For more details on all financial services available in China, please consult Bank of China’s guides below.