It is reported that Chinese authorities have decided to allow domestic third-party, standalone payments services to process online payments for cross-border e-commerce transactions (article in Chinese). Those who have been authorized to conduct Internet payments domestically can apply for this license. Five regions, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Zhejiang province, are selected for a trial.

That said, a China-based customer can pay directly, with a local bank account, through a third-party payments service if he or she wants to buy any items on a shopping site outside of China. The third-party service will receive the payments and take care of the currency exchange part.

In fact paying for items on overseas sites has been in demand that currently payments services make a detour to help consumers: collecting payments from customers and then make cross-border payments at local banks.

Actually in 2010 authorities opened the door to several payments services that allowed them to conduct currency exchanges that includes cross-border payments. But the door was closed later due to concerns over money laundering and similar issues. So this time it only allows for payments made for online purchases that involve small amounts of money.

image credit: e.lifestyle.com.cn