ECA News

Western Union sees significant increase in use of Chinese Renminbi for business payments

Liam Dilley - Tuesday, June 09, 2015
“Australian businesses are re-evaluating how they settle trade with China,” said Simon Glendenning, General Manager, Australia, at Western Union Business Solutions. “While the vast majority of the payments we send are still being converted from AUD into U.S. dollars, we have seen a definite increase in the number and value of payments companies are sending to China in Renminbi in a very short period of time, particularly in the SME sector.”

Western Union Business Solutions’ Australian clients increased the number of RMB payments to China by over 25% in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter. In the UK, RMB payments rose nearly 10% over the same period, while France and the US recorded increases of approximately 30% and 15% respectively.

Mr. Glendenning continued, “Recent policy developments in China have really changed the payments landscape for international commerce, enabling importers and exporters globally to pay in Renminbi. We were the first non-bank to launch direct RMB payments into China just over a year ago and since then we have seen steady growth. Talking with customers about the new policies has clearly made a difference.”

“It’s good to see Australian SME taking advantage of the opportunities and potential cost savings RMB usage can offer; the fact that they now have the option to pay in Renminbi is clearly a good thing.”

These figures follow on research conducted by Western Union Business Solutions late last year that revealed a desire by Chinese companies to receive payments in RMB; 20% of the companies surveyed stated they added fees of, on average, three percent to their invoices to cover the foreign exchange costs, representing an estimated $246 million cost to Australian businesses. (Western Union Business Solutions’ research found that one in five Chinese exporters added an average of three per cent in fees or surcharges to account for FX risk associated with receiving $USD payments. Based on Department of Foreign Affairs figures for 2010/11, there was $41 billion worth of merchandise imports from China into Australia. On this basis the value of FX related fees charged by Chinese exporters is approximately $246mil, or three per cent of the value of one-fifth of Australia’s total imports from China.)

Mr. Glendenning concluded, “Australian SMEs are clearly adapting to the new environment. This is encouraging as it gives them an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in their negotiations and save on some of the hidden costs they can face when paying in USD.”

For more information or interviews please contact:

Andy Sommer
Professional Public Relations
T: +61 3 8643 1619/ +61 451 122 931


About Western Union Business Solutions

Western Union Business Solutions enables companies of all sizes to send and receive international payments and manage foreign exchange, creating unique solutions tailored to suit their FX needs. Western Union is a leading nonbank provider of business payments, operating its Business Solutions services through locally licensed affiliates and partners in 28 countries. Supported by a network of trading offices, strategic banking relationships and a proprietary global clearing network, businesses can send cross-border payments in more than 135 currencies, including RMB. Customers are able to
make RMB spot transactions and forward payments and manage Renminbi-denominated holding accounts.

Western Union Business Solutions provides services in the US through Custom House (USA) Limited and Travelex Global Business Payments, Inc.
"Travelex" is a registered trademark of Travellers Exchange Corporation Limited and is used by Travelex Global Business Payments Limited and its affiliates (including Travelex Global Business Payments Inc.) under license. For more information visit

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