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China regulates banking cards to counter telecom fraud

Updated: Dec 1,2016 9:25 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — New rules regulating the application and use of bank cards took effect on Dec 1 as China’s central bank decided to crack down on illegal practices.

An individual can now only open one multifunction account, enabling payment, deposit, transfer and other services, per bank, while they can have additional accounts with limited functions, according to the new rules released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

According to the rules, the money to be transferred to another account via ATM will be “frozen” by the bank for 24 hours and the transferrer can apply to have the transfer revoked within that period.

In some fraud cases, victims are swindled to transfer money to certain bank accounts, suffering huge losses.

On average a Chinese person had about 4.39 bank cards at the end of the third quarter, with the majority debit cards, a PBOC report showed on Dec 1.

A total of 330 billion transactions took place via bank cards in the third quarter, with the majority transfer services, the report showed.

Online payment services surged in Q3, led by non-banking payment platforms, saw online payment transactions and volume more than double.

Alipay, Alibaba’s payment service, also announced new rules on account registration and transfer limits on Dec 1, to echo PBOC’s call for measures against telecom fraud.