How to Pay Your Chinese Suppliers If you regularly do business with mainland China, it can be a task to make payments to your suppliers easily. Here are some alternatives to traditional banking methods.

If you do business that requires you to order goods and services from mainland China, you will be familiar with the hassle of paying your suppliers quickly and easily in a way that works for both parties.

Because China has such strict capital controls and has only been engaging in international trade for around twenty years, sending your money to China can be an expensive, complicated, and time-consuming process.

How Are Payments to Chinese Suppliers Divided?

There are often two parts to the payment process when paying Chinese suppliers as they have their own business regulations and requirements to follow and adhere to. 

  • The first step of the payment process is to pay 30% of the overall cost, which acts as your ‘deposit’ for your order. It is to be paid before production begins to secure your order.
  • The second step is to pay the remaining 70% of the total costs once the order is complete.

This means that there will often always be two payments made per order which doubles the transaction fees and conversion rate charges for you as a business. This is something to keep in mind as fees and charges can add up.

What Are the Most Common Ways to Pay Chinese Suppliers?

International Wire Transfers via Your Bank:

An international wire transfer from your bank is the most straightforward way to pay your Chinese suppliers. If you already have a business account it is easy to go into your local branch or head to your online banking portal and make the transfer from there.

Wire transfers are usually best practice, especially for smaller factories as most Chinese suppliers are already familiar with this form of payment and therefore it is their most preferred method.

There are a few things you will need to have included in your invoice when making a wire transfer to a Chinese company:

  • Reference number
  • Payment amount
  • Date of your order
  • Quantity of goods you have ordered
  • Name of the shipping company handling your order

There is a chance that you could be asked to provide additional information and details in some cases as capital controls are strictly enforced in China. Transferring any amount of money into the country is often scrutinised and often requires a lot of information about why you’re making the transaction.

There are huge fees involved in Bank Wire Transfers, usually in flat fees for processing between both banking agencies and even more in conversion fees, international transfer fees and correspondent banking fees.

Set up a Business Account in Hong Kong and Send Fees as a Local Transfer:

To avoid these high fees and costly exchange rates it could be helpful for you to set up a Hong Kong Business Account and pay your Chinese suppliers from there.

Lots of Chinese suppliers have Hong Kong business accounts to avoid capital controls in China and high transaction costs. They will also open Hong Kong Business Accounts for their Western trading companies as they often deal mainly in USD. If both you and your supplier have Hong Kong Business Accounts it’s as easy as sending payments via local transfer at a local rate and cost. 

Send Payments via a Third-Party Source:

For many SMEs and young businesses, it can be costly and time-consuming to pay their Chinese suppliers using the methods above. An alternative solution to this is to send money via a third-party source such as Payset to avoid building up fees and international charges. Our Payset  allows you to make payments and transfers quickly and easily without having to worry about hidden charges and additional fees.

In general, whilst there are many ways to pay your Chinese suppliers wire transfer is still the most common method to use in China. It’s often the more established and larger companies that have the means to support other payment methods or are able to bend to suit your needs.

If you already have an established relationship with your Chinese suppliers and are planning to be making regular payments to them in the future setting up a Hong Kong Business Account might be the best option for facilitating payments.

However, if you are seeking a more reliable multi-currency wallet provider,  which allows you to make payments quickly and easily, to suppliers in China via Alipay, WeChat, and Union Pay in secure ways you’re in the right place. so speak to us today to get started.

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