The State Bank of India's Shanghai branch is now connected to China's National Advance Payment System (CNAPS), becoming the first Indian Bank to operationalise it, a senior bank official said on Friday.
The CNAPS, launched in 2008 by People's Bank of China (PBOC) provides real-time settlement services for all payments cleared in mainland China, as well as in all clearing banks in offshore yuan centers, such as Hong Kong.
The CNAPS system is complemented by its international counterpart, the CIPS (China International Payments System or Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payment System), launched in 2015 with the aim of boosting international use of the Chinese currency, yuan.
The CIPS already has participants from multiple countries across the globe.
The SBI is the only Indian bank to have obtained the license to do business in local currency and also inducted to the CNAPS by the PBOC as on date, K Swaminathan, Chief Executive Officer of SBI, Shanghai said on Friday.
The SBI has obtained the PBOC approval in December 2016 for implementation of the CNAPS and after successful installation of various hardware and software, testing it is now connected to the PBOC live system on July 8, 2019, he said.
After being a member of the CNAPS, SBI Shanghai can also offer real time transfer of local funds within China by routing them through the PBOC.
It eliminates the need of tie up and maintenance of accounts with multiple Banks for fund transfer, he said.
The CNAPS will also be used for cross border RMB payments which are hitherto being made through local correspondent banks.
This will also give SBI opportunity to do business of Bankers acceptance drafts (BAD), he said.The SBI has started its representative office in 1997 and began its commercial operation in 2006.
Currently, it is the only Indian bank with license to deal in RMB, the local currency, as well as foreign currency.
With total customer credit of nearly $500 million and staff strength of 40 people that includes 32 Chinese nationals, the bank has always been at the forefront of facilitating India-China trade and investments apart from serving the Indians working in China in the field of IT and others, Swaminathan said.
The bank extends bank guarantee facility to Chinese corporates undertaking various construction, tech, and investment projects, he said. The bank has also been extending term as well working capital credit facilities to Indian corporates and companies promoted by Indians in China to facilitate Indian investment in China, he said.
The bank has also been an active participant in local syndication arranged by major foreign as well as Chinese banks.
Other than the activities on asset side, the bank has been facilitating Indians working in China in their remittance as well as other banking needs, he said.