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Commercial lenders turn to fintech as contactless financing gains ground

By JIANG XUEQING| CHINA DAILY| Updated: May 6, 2020 L M S


A pedestrian walks past a Shanghai branch of China Zheshang Bank Co Ltd, a joint-stock commercial lender headquartered in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. LYU LIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Commercial banks are stepping up provision of online, mobile and phone banking services through the application of financial technologies, as the novel coronavirus epidemic has stimulated huge demand for contactless financial services.

Amid the epidemic, the iron and steel industry has been facing growing financial pressure to resume work and production due to restrictions on transportation, raw material shortages and a drop in demand.

China Zheshang Bank Co Ltd, a joint-stock commercial lender headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, used blockchain technology to confirm the authenticity of accounts receivable of iron and steel companies and promoted accounts receivable circulation, thus revitalizing the liquidity of their assets.

The bank instructed Minmetals Yingkou Medium Plate Co Ltd, a manufacturer of high-end medium and heavy plates and wire rods, and its upstream suppliers to realize online financing by transferring 95 million yuan ($13.4 million) of accounts receivable with the help of blockchain technology.

In a notice issued on Feb 14, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission urged banks and insurers to actively promote online businesses, strengthen the management of their online banking, mobile banking and WeChat mini programs, and optimize contactless service channels. As a result, commercial banks have been stepping up such services.

A commerce and trading company in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, applied online for a letter of credit from Industrial Bank Co Ltd, guaranteeing that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount, to pay its upstream supplier.

Upon the request of the supplier, the Fuzhou-based joint-stock commercial lender later issued 50 million yuan to the supplier online via the letter of credit forfeiting service, which allows an exporter to receive upfront payment for selling letter of credit-based receivables at a discount on a non-recourse basis.

By the end of March 26, Industrial Bank had provided a total of 258 billion yuan to enterprises via online supply chain financing in various models, such as bill financing, accounts receivable financing and letter of credit financing, since the epidemic broke out in December.

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