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Author Topic: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks  (Read 3024 times)

A-Train

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Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:15:24 PM »
Does anyone receive routine, or otherwise, payments from a foreign bank into their Chinese account?  If so, is that working reasonably well?  My uni is in England and they can't seem to get to first base when it comes to paying me into my Chinese account.  I know the Chinese system is probably a pain, but I have to believe this is being done successfully somewhere.

The English blame the Chinese, the Chinese say all is well...I'm sure you can guess the rest.
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becster79

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 10:58:15 PM »
Have you tried to access your account with your card at an ATM here? My Aussie one works fine- though yes, the fees can be a little steep! If you only accessed it say once a month, and no more, it would probably be okay.
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cruisemonkey

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 11:40:12 PM »
Here's 'shot in the dark' -

In Feb. I had problems getting money transfered from my Korean bank to my Canadian bank until I found out international transit codes are five digits, starting with a '0'.

For domestic transfers my Canadian bank branch transit code is 8370, for international transfers the code is 08370 - the Koreans were trying to add a '0' to the end of the sequence (making it 83700) instead of the beginning.

If your Chinese bank transit code is four digits, have your British bank prefix those digits with a '0' (if they're not already).
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

A-Train

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 04:23:42 AM »
This is all being attempted by my employer in England trying to deposit my paycheck into my Chinese (ICBC) account. It's in my contract that I am  allowed to have my pay deposited here, yet the English have been unable to do so; blaming the Chinese, of course. 

My g/f is a professor of banking, (and her mother worked in a bank for about 20 years), so she chalks it up to English laziness and incompetence. I'm starting to buy into her theory. 

But, I have to believe that this sort of transfer is being done successfully by somebody and I'd like to be able to tell my employer this.

One key is to know your Chinese bank's "SWIFT" Code.  The English didn't even know what this is let alone the one for my bank after four months.  In ten minutes I found it for my bank using Google. So, I'm starting to side with my g/f and making a case against the university. 
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

chanhonam

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 04:45:22 AM »
Not all individual branches have SWIFT codes and this is slowly being replaced by BIC which includes the actual account number (at least for smaller amounts). SWIFT is usually too expensive for amounts you are expecting unless you have a footballer's salary.
It does seem to be from the England end as usually when funds are received, the receiving branch will try to find the account before returning the money. There would be a record of the money coming in and being returned.  I too worked in a bank (eight years).

old34

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 04:59:40 AM »
Here are a few things to check:

1. The account name must match exactly including case and any punctuation. Chinese banks use all upper-case so sending it to the "Thomas Smith" account will not match up with the ICBC account for "THOMAS SMITH". Too, sending it to "TOM SMITH" will not match up with "THOMAS SMITH". In fact, I've seen some accounts in Chinese banks where the account name would be "THOMASSMITH" (no space). Naturally, sending it to "THOMAS SMITH" would not match up with ICBC account for "THOMASSMITH".

2. For some Chinese banks, the field width for the name is limited to a set number of characters/letters so if you have a real long name, when they set up the account, they may have typed in your whole name, but on the bank's software, the name field, and thus your account name, gets truncated. For example, THOMAS ROBERT IGNATIUS SMITH shows up on the bank's system as "THOMAS ROBERT IGNATIUS SMI". Check the account name on your bank here. (If you have ICBC Internet banking, you can do this by logging in) and carefully note it down, punctuation, spacing and all.

3. This happened to me once: I had an account (ICBC) where they decided to shorten my full name for space purposes and typed it in as "THOMAS R. SMITH". The first time I tried to get a transfer (from another Chinese domestic bank) it wouldn't go through. The payor checked and the money had arrived at ICBC but it hadn't been credited to my account. I went to the ICBC Internet banking site and noticed that the name on the account was written as THOMAS R。SMITH. (Note the period. They were using the "Chinese" "。" not the "regular" "." The payor went her bank, got the money returned from ICBC, sent it back with the "THOMAS R。SMITH" account name and I got it within an hour. So check the punctuation carefully too because in China, . and 。are not the same.

One more thing, for domestic transfers (not sure about international transfers) Chinese banks require the name of the branch office where the account was opened or it won't get to the right branch. Double check the official branch name of the ICBC where you opened the account and make sure the English bank is using that if necessary.

I'm guessing one of these is the reason it's not getting into your account.
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TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

old34

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 05:06:14 AM »
It does seem to be from the England end as usually when funds are received, the receiving branch will try to find the account before returning the money. There would be a record of the money coming in and being returned.  I too worked in a bank (eight years).

Just saw this after I posted the above. In China, the bank will NOT try to find the account. If it doesn't match exactly, the money will sit there (witness my example in #3 where they couldn't be arsed to figure out the difference between . and 。

Also, my pay just before Spring Festival, to a different bank, didn't get credited because the name on my account had no spaces between the names and the school had sent it with proper spaces. Though they had the name and the account numbers, it didn't match exactly (no spaces) so the money sat at the bank until a full week after school started (one month later) and someone from the school went over and retrieved the money.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

A-Train

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 05:28:51 AM »
Thanks, this is great stuff.  I think there is blame to go around and I certainly agree with old34's assessment that the Chinese bank will NOT try to find the account.  The English bank says they sent the money successfully on March 26th and it is not yet in my account so I'm sure that ICBC is sitting on it...with great pleasure.

I had gone to my bank and had them call up my account on their monitor and found out that the name on my account was only my family name; no given name at all.  Did not think to note that it was in all caps, so that's something I can tell the English bank.

However;
1) My colleague here was doing this and claimed that the English payor would intermittently change some detail in the deposit information and he would not receive the money that month.  This happened more than once so he gave up.
2) Would not the English bank receive some sort of confirmation that all is  was done correctly?  If so, it seems they would have told my uni that there was a problem.
3) Why is the account number not enough? 

I'm sure there are reasons that the deposit was not made and I'm sure they are all very interesting.  However, it is still the responsibility of my employing university to make the damn deposit on the date they contracted to do so.  If it takes longer to do transfers to China, then make the deposit earlier. Every time something like this happens, (and it's something different every month), they tell me they can do nothing about it. This just supports my g/f's "Lazy British Bastards" theory.

Last complaint...my contract says that my pay is to be translated into local currency at the spot rate in effect at date of transfer.  What is actually used is their bank's chosen exchange rate. I have no problem with the bank making money on the spread, but that's a cost of the university doing business, not a payroll deduction. Costs me $100 per month.
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

adamsmith

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 08:04:11 AM »
I had the same problem with my pay from oz, and the same thing as old regarding the name caused havoc. It took 3 months before I finally recieved my pay.
Two other things you might want to note. Is the english bank sending the money in RMB or foreign currency - if RMB then it should be no problem, but if they are sendig it in any other currency you must make sure you have a dual currency account with the ICBC or they wont deposit it.

After the bank receives it here it can take up to 7 days for them to deposit it in to your account.

I finally got tired of all the hassles and BS so I closed my accounts out here and just use the ATM and pay the price. At least that way I can get my money wherever I am. agagagagag

bobrage

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 02:54:30 AM »
I recently carried out a successful wire transfer (T/T) from an ICBC office in my T2 city in the middle of Henan to my UK Building Society (note, not bank, so they are not really set up for international stuff).  It took fourteen forms and three and a half hours but I got it done.

The IBAN code for your account contains information which directs the payment to a particular country, bank and then account.  In the UK this number includes your A/C and Sort Code.  The SWIFT code channels the payment through the nominated intermediary, because payments from one bank do not always go directly to another (I think payments from China go through a clearing system run by Barclay's in London but I could be wrong). 

Despite the ICBC getting the final part of my name wrong, the payment still made it to my UK bank account using only the IBAN number.

I have never done it in reverse, but it should be fairly simple.  Bank policies will differ, but I know that ICBC is very anal about real names (this is why I will never let anyone else handle banking stuff for me, the one occasion I did they made up a false Chinese name and I almost got arrested because of their idiocy).  It is likely that the payment is sitting somewhere in ICBC's payment system because it hasn't been approved because the names don't match.

Notwithstanding the name-problem, it should be possible to do with relative ease.

Just as a by-the-way, I deposited GBP in bog-standard ICBC account before I made the T/T and it sat there in GBP in my account with no issues.  So I think the account should be able to receive it (and you should be able to withdraw it in GBP).

Guangzhou Writer

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 04:33:18 AM »
Definitely can not withdraw it in GBP from my experience, although it could be "withdrawn", converted to USD then to RMB. RMB/CNY is only directly convertible with US dollar, Japanese yen, and one other that I forget. Maybe HK dollar? I am no expert here, but very confident about the convertibility issue. Would bet you wu mao I'm right.  agagagagag

After reading all these posts, I feel lucky that the two times I've wired money to an account in the USA, it went just fine. Have not received any money into account here, but did receive one Moneygram. It *had* to be sent from the non-USA country in US dollars, which I was given directly at the receiving bank.

bobrage

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 06:29:05 AM »
Yeah, Western Union only accept USD.  There are nine currencies which ICBC can operate with though.  

I should have said that when I mention "withdraw" I don't mean at an ATM, I mean at a desk.  And, most importantly you have to have deposited the GBP in GBP to be able to withdraw it in GBP.  Yeah, you certainly can't just withdraw RMB in whatever currency you like, but if you paid it in as "X" then you can get it out as "X".  

Things are alot easier in dollars, certainly.

teacheraus

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2013, 09:23:43 AM »
On the convertablity issue... At the moment the CNY is only directly convertible with the US dollar and the Japanese Yen. It will very soon be directly convertible with the Australian dollar. That was announced this week... Here is a link to one of the reports of it... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22075345
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xwarrior

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 08:30:53 AM »
On the convertablity issue... At the moment the CNY is only directly convertible with the US dollar and the Japanese Yen. It will very soon be directly convertible with the Australian dollar. That was announced this week... Here is a link to one of the reports of it... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22075345


That could confuse common foot soldiers like me.

I am pretty sure the article is referring to currencies used in trade settlements so it is dealing with megabucks.China is moving to have its currency accepted as a global currency.

Most of us are going to be dealing with exchanging amounts that Bill Gates would regard as trifling and banks in China will exchange only 8 or 9 currencies for RMB.

Australian dollars are accepted for exchange in China. Even though New Zealand is the only country with a Free Trade Agreement with China I cannot exchange New Zealand dollars in China. I have to (  ababababab , this is embarrassing me to admit it,  llllllllll ) change my money into A$ or US$ when carrying money into China.
 
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Guangzhou Writer

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Re: Receive Payments from Foreign Banks
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 12:39:21 PM »
Direct convertibility means no intermediate currency during the exchange process. You can get there from here, but unless it's RMB to USD or Jap yen, then it's not A to B, it's A to B to Q to C.

As you can see from my elaborate explanation and graphics aids, I don't teach economics.