China Merchants Bank (CMB) announced recently that as of April 11, it would lower the transaction limit for payments made using the bank's online payment system through third-party payment companies. Non third-party transactions will not be affected. Among the changes are a lowering of the upper limit for online payments and transfers using the bank's Yi Ka Tong debit card from RMB 5,000 per day to RMB 500 per day. Single-day transactions for credit card users will also be limited to RMB 500, where previously users had been able to set their own per-day limits.
The Shenzhen Development Bank has also set a new limit for third-party single transactions at RMB 5,000 per day; non third-party transactions will be unaffected.
A number of third-party payment processing companies declined to comment on the tightening of restrictions by banks, but said that at present it appears that the changes will not greatly affect them. A representative of third-party payment processor Alipay said that while CMB had lowered the maximum limit for payments, customers still had options, including upgrading to a "professional" account, using an Alipay credit card for payments, or using cards from other banks.
A financial industry analyst said that the changes in policy may have been motivated by a lack of suitable profit-sharing standards between CMB and payment processors.