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What is a CNAPS code?

By August 30, 2020May 16th, 2024No Comments

A CNAPS code, short for “China National Advanced Payment System,” is a 12-digit identifier required to make payments to and within China in Renminbi (CNY). The first three digits identify the bank, the next four digits identify the branch, and the remaining five digits are used for specific processing requirements. The CNAPS code can be obtained from your recipient and should be on their bank statement or chequebook.

Example CNAPS code: 103100000026

Here’s the breakdown of each part of the code:

  1. First 3 digits (103): These digits represent the bank identifier. Each bank in China has a unique three-digit code. For instance:
    • 103 could correspond to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
  2. Next 4 digits (1000): These digits represent the location or branch identifier. This segment indicates the specific branch or location of the bank where the account is held. For example:
    • 1000 might refer to the central branch in a major city like Beijing.
  3. Last 5 digits (00026): These digits are used for specific processing and routing within the bank. This segment often represents more detailed branch-specific information or internal processing identifiers.

China stands as one of the United Kingdom’s primary trading partners, with imports from China totaling over 60 billion pounds in 2022. Despite the prevalent practice among businesses of conducting offshore payments in US dollars for imports from China, the Renminbi (CNY) is swiftly evolving into an international currency. By March 2024, Renminbi (CNY) transactions accounted for 4.69% of live and delivered MT 103, MT 202, and ISO equivalent messages exchanged on the Swift network, solidifying its position as the fourth most active currency for global payments by value. Although this percentage might seem modest at first glance, it signifies substantial growth compared to the 1.85% recorded in February 2019. Consequently, there is a noticeable surge in the volume of payments being processed in Renminbi (CNY), highlighting its escalating prominence in international trade and finance.

The Swift network fully supports global Renminbi transactions, with its messaging services enabling the seamless transportation of Chinese characters through the Chinese Commercial Code (CCC) in FIN or directly via Chinese characters in MX (ISO 20022 messages). To initiate money transfers to China using Renminbi, several essential pieces of information are required, including the CNAPS code, the BIC/SWIFT code, the account number, and the payee’s name.

Established in 2008 by the People’s Bank of China, the CNAPS (China National Advanced Payment System) enables real-time settlement services for payments within mainland China and encourages the use of the Chinese Yuan (CNY) for transactions instead of relying heavily on the US dollar. Similar to the sort codes used in the United Kingdom, the CNAPS simplifies the process of routing payments within China’s extensive financial network, ensuring smooth and speedy transactions. This system represents a significant advancement in China’s financial infrastructure, showcasing its commitment to modernization and global integration.

Where do I Enter The CNAPS Code?

Once you have obtained the CNAPS code from your recipient, be sure to double-check it with them for accuracy. When you are ready to proceed, navigate to the beneficiaries tab on the portal and select “add a new beneficiary.” After entering the initial recipient information, you will encounter a page similar to the one below, prompting you to input the CNAPS code. If necessary, you can also reach out to your account manager, who will assist you in adding a new beneficiary to your account.


What is the Difference between CNY and CNH?

In 2009, Chinese authorities removed constraints on RMB trade settlements between China and Hong Kong, marking the first instance of RMB settlements occurring outside mainland China. This milestone led to the establishment of CNH, denoting the offshore market in Hong Kong.

Subsequently, these regulations have been progressively relaxed, fostering the growth of RMB markets not only in Hong Kong but also in other offshore locations such as Australia, the US, Singapore, and the UK. This gradual internationalisation of the Renminbi has given rise to parallel RMB markets, distinguished as offshore and onshore markets.

While offshore RMB markets thrive, trading of the Chinese yuan is subject to distinct regulations in mainland China, where buying and selling restrictions persist. Consequently, two distinct RMB markets now coexist: offshore and onshore.

The confusion often arises due to the interchangeable use of “Renminbi” and “Yuan” to refer to the Chinese currency. “Renminbi” is the official name of the currency, while “Yuan” is the primary unit of the Renminbi.

Regarding currency codes, “CNY” is the standard international currency code for the onshore Renminbi, which is used within mainland China. On the other hand, “CNH” refers to the offshore Renminbi, which is traded outside mainland China, primarily in Hong Kong.

So, to clarify:

  • CNY: Onshore Renminbi (used within mainland China)
  • CNH: Offshore Renminbi (traded outside mainland China, primarily in Hong Kong)

Both CNY and CNH represent the same currency, but they are used in different contexts depending on whether the transactions are conducted within mainland China or in offshore markets. Therefore, for international payments to China from the United Kingdom, the currency dispatched is CNY.

How do I Convert GBP to CNY?

For businesses and individuals seeking to convert funds from GBP to CNY and make international payments to China, you can execute a spot trade from GBP to CNY using the Rutland FX platform. Enjoy competitive exchange rates, zero fees, and same-day dispatch if you settle the trade before the cut-off for CNY.


How Long Does it Take?

CNY payments sent from Rutland FX are dispatched via the SWIFT network. While the majority of payments sent via SWIFT arrive within a few hours, in some cases, it may take 1-2 days to reach your recipient. You can track the progress of your payment using our SWIFT tracking feature available on the platform.

What does it Cost to convert GBP to CNY?

Converting GBP to CNY can be achieved through either a spot trade or a forward contract. Rutland FX applies a competitive mark-up to the exchange rate based on the volume of currency and the number of payments you need to send to China. Importantly, we do not charge any fees whatsoever. Moreover, you’ll find that our rates are considerably more competitive than those offered by conventional banks. For an exact quote, you can obtain it by clicking here.

What about Intermediary Fees?

Intermediary fees, also referred to as corresponding bank fees, are typically nominal charges ranging from £5 to £25. These fees are deducted from a small fraction of international payments (SWIFT) before they reach the beneficiary. It’s important to note that Rutland FX does not impose these fees, and the majority of payments processed through us will not incur intermediary fees. However, if such fees are applied, the deducted amount depends on the intermediary banks involved in that specific payment route.

In cases where you transfer CNY to a recipient, you have control over how the intermediary fee is applied by selecting either “our” or “sha” when making the payment.

What is the current Inter-bank rate for GBP to CNY?

How to Get a CNY Multi-Currency Account in the UK?

Rutland FX can provide you or your business with a CNY-denominated multi-currency account in the UK free of charge. Our multi-currency accounts can help you hold balances in CNY until you need to dispatch them to a recipient, meaning you can also receive inbound payments in CNY.

Are My Funds Safe?

As an Electronic Money Institution (EMI), Currency Cloud is obligated to maintain adequate capital reserves and ensure the proper safeguarding of customer funds. All funds received in relation to electronic money will be held with one or more segregated client accounts with tier-1 banks, such as Barclays. These segregated client accounts are further protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs) for payment instructions that are provided remotely or online, strong customer authentication must be applied. To log into your Rutland FX account, you will need to set up Two Factor Authentication (2FA).


How do I get started with Rutland FX?

To open an account with Rutland FX, you will need to register online here. After submitting your application, our onboarding team will review it. If no further information is needed, your account will be enabled the same day. Multi-currency accounts will then be immediately available. At this stage, your account manager will also contact you to address any final questions and guide you through the platform.


Sending Money to China?

If you or your business has a requirement to send money to China Rutland FX can help you. We offer better exchange rates, same day transfers and no fees.

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