Deutsche Bank in First for SAFE’s Foreign Currency Trade Payments Pilot

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Deutsche Bank is the first European bank to be approved for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)’s Pilot Scheme for Facilitation of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments for Trade. The scheme aims to simplify and improve foreign currency payments for cross-border trades.

Under the scheme, eligible clients of Deutsche Bank China (Shanghai Branch) will be exempt from providing supporting documents for foreign currency trade payment upfront, allowing a straight-through payment processing upon the client’s e-banking instruction.

Compared with the traditional payment procedure, this cuts the foreign currency payment process time from days to just a few minutes. The bank completed its first foreign currency payment under the pilot scheme for global automotive technology company, Aptiv, on 30 September 2020.

Yi Xiong, Deutsche Bank Head of Cash Management Products for Greater China told TMI that this Shanghai pilot programme is designed for locally-registered corporates that are classified as Grade A enterprises by SAFE. 

“Among other eligibility requirements, these companies need to have been processing foreign currency payments and collections with a participating pilot bank, such as Deutsche Bank, for at least three years,” he explains. It is expected that applying corporates should have traceable document management systems and processes in place as well.

As a result of this pilot success, Deutsche Bank will look to add further value for clients in the trade process. “We constantly strive to support our clients in making their business operations simpler and smoother and have a strong record in delivering innovative solutions to achieve this,” says Yi Xiong.

In addition to this pilot, examples of the bank’s tools for operational efficiency include e-doc, e-BOP, Shanghai Single Window, and e-tax filing. “We are currently working on a new architecture design for cross-border payments and collections that utilises advanced technologies to automate and digitise the entire process,” Yi Xiong confirmed.

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