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China to Require Real-Name System for E-Payment

Beijing Times, 12/30/11

The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has sent several third-party Internet payment providers a draft of a document entitled, "Payment Provider Internet Payment Business Management Practices," in order to solicit opinions and suggestions. The document stipulates that third-party payment providers should implement a real name system for all payment service accounts, and that institutions must not accept anonymous users or users who use pseudonyms.

The document further stipulates that when a customer registers for a new payment account, the payment institution should register the customer's full legal name, gender, address, contact details and identity card type, including number, expiration date, and other pertinent identity details. The institution should then carry out authenticity checks on the information. For business accounts, the institution must register the work unit's official name, address, scope of business, tax registration number and organization code, among other pertinent details.

All third-party internet payment accounts opened by a customer with a third-party payment provider must be associated with the customer's bank account, and the legal name on the payment account must be identical with the name on the actual bank account. If an individual customer deposits less than RMB 1,000 in a one-month period in all of his or her third-party payment accounts with one payment provider, then it is not necessary to associate the third-party payment account with an actual bank account. However, this type of account will then only be able to make payments and receive refund transactions, and will not be able to be used to accept payments. In the case where an individual payment account's daily spending exceeds RMB 10,000, monthly spending amount exceeds RMB 50,000, or daily spending amount exceeds RMB 5,000 during 10 consecutive days and the customer has three associated accounts or more, then the payment provider needs to retain a copy or photocopy of the customer's valid identification card.

The document further stipulates that credit cards cannot be used to deposit money into the third-party payment account. However, the account can be used to pay back credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans and other consumer loans.

Third-party payment accounts may only be used for payment of such things as e-commerce transactions, utility bills, credit card bills, personal consumer loan repayment, and purchase of stocks, bonds, and other financial products; for purchases that do not fit within one of these four categories, the user must first transfer the funds to his or her personal bank account.

The new rules outlined in the document are also applicable to mobile phone-based third-party payment services.

Keywords: mobile payment Internet e-payment People's Bank of China real name system third-party payment regulation

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