China's central bank has announced a series of measures, including allowing more money to be withdrawn from ATMs in a day, to address complaints of customers that have to queue up at banks for hours.
Increasing personal payments that have to be made via banks, people's excessive reliance on cash payments, and imperfect banking services were cited as major reasons for long queues at banks. Chinese people often go to banks to pay water, electricity and gas fees, pay back bank loans for apartments and autos, and buy funds, securities and insurance products.
The People's Bank of China, which is the central bank, said people will be able to pay for public utilities, such as water and electricity, via their accounts in any of the banks in the future. At present, people have to make the payments in different banks designated by the service providers.
The daily limit of cash withdraw from ATMs will be raised from the current RMB5,000 to RMB20,000 The measure aims to discourage people from going to the bank counters to get cash.
The central bank said that commercial banks need to explore alternative payment channels, such as on-line payment and payment via telephone calls, to help people make payments off the counters.