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Excuse Me, Can I Send Money Back Home? How to Use Banks in China!

Dec. 8, 2017

Chinese General bank

I have known many foreigners who have come and visited China for different reasons–whether it be for immersion, traveling, work and more. Usually at some point these people can’t get by on their foreign bank and need to use one of the major banks in China, which include:

● 中国银行 (Zhōngguó yínháng) Bank of China

● 中国建设银行 (Zhōngguó jiànshè yínháng) China Construction Bank

● 中国工商银行 (Zhōngguó gōngshāng yínháng) Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

● 中国农业银行 (Zhōngguó nóngyè yínháng) Agricultural Bank of China

I often use “中国银行 (Zhōngguó yínháng) The Bank of China” because of the high number of locations and the relatively easy methods of dealing with foreign payments. But what services does this bank provide, and how can you use it? Let’s find out.

Normally, “中国银行 (Zhōngguó yínháng) The Bank of China” is available for people to use 9am-5pm (Monday-Friday, for Corporate banking); 9am-5pm (Monday-Sunday, for Personal banking). They have many locations in major cities and are always easy to find.

“中国银行 (Zhōngguó yínháng) The Bank of China” offers many services, but one most often used by foreigners, and available to them, is inward or outward “汇款 (huìkuǎn) remittance.” This is a sum of money sent, especially by mail, in payment for goods or services or as a gift.

A lot of my friends from other countries like/have to send money to their parents, relatives, or significant others, after working in China for a long period of time.

So what do you need to know before you go ahead and submit a remittance?

1. You need to know the “汇款限额 (huìkuǎn xiàn’é) remittance limit.”

There are going to be limited to how much you can send. Make sure to ask the teller about this.
In official language the rules say: “The remittance amount shall not exceed the standards specified on relevant certificates provided. When foreign exchanges remitted abroad accumulatively reach an equivalent value of below USD 50,000 (inclusive) on that very day, customers can transact the business at Bank of China with personal valid identity documents. When the amount exceeds the above number, customers should transact the business with true certificates of trading amounts under current items.”

2. You need to have your identity documents.
That means your passport, and any other forms of ID native to your own country to verify your identity.

3. You need to have Mandarin-speaking skills.
I always encourage my students to brush up on their financial Mandarin before tackling a visit to the bank. If you are feeling unconfident about your Mandarin level and the necessary vocab, then schedule a lesson in industry-specific Mandarin!

Let’s focus on this word: “汇款 (huìkuǎn) remittance”. Here are several ways to use it in a sentence:

A: Xiānsheng, nín hǎo. Qǐng wèn yǒu shénme kěyǐ bāng nín?
A: 先生,        您  好。请      问   有     什么   可以   帮   您?
A: Hi Sir. Is there anything I can do for you?

B: Nín hǎo, wǒ xūyào bànlǐ huìkuǎn yèwù.
B: 您   好,我   需要  办理     汇款    业务。
B: Hello, I need the remittance service.

Nǐ shōu dào huìkuǎn le ma?
你  收   到     汇款     了 吗?
Have you received the remittance?

2. 限额 (xiàn’é): limit; quota.

Zhè xiàng huāfèi gāng hǎo dī yú xiàn’é.
这    项     花费      刚   好  低 于 限额。
The cost is just below the limit.

Zhè xiàng jiāoyì de xiàn’é shì wǔwàn měijīn.
这    项    交易  的  限额  是  50,000  美金。
The limit of this transaction is 50,000 dollars.


1. What should people know before they outward “汇款 (huìkuǎn) remittances” in The Bank of China?

A. The Bank of China has a “限额 (xiàn’é)” for the remittance transactions.
B. The Bank of China doesn’t have a “限额 (xiàn’é)” for the remittance transactions.
C. The Bank of China doesn’t offer personal “汇款 (huìkuǎn)” services.
See Answer

— Written by Jennifer Zhu —
Jennifer Zhu is a professional Chinese teacher from eChineseLearning. She has many years of Chinese language teaching experience and received her B.A. and M.A. in “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language.”

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