New York, NY- Citi today announced that its Global Transaction Services has enhanced its WorldLink(R) Payment Services capability in making payments in Chinese Renminbi (RMB). This new enhancement allows for a significant reduction in settlement time to as little as two days, which represents an improvement of more than a week. This reduced settlement timeframe offers one of the best clearing times available within the cross-border payments market.
Until recently, the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) was heavily regulated with trading restrictions. In 2009, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) commenced a controlled liberalization of the RMB currency. Continued expansion of this plan has allowed WorldLink Payment Services the opportunity to extend its capabilities in making cross-border payments in this currency.
Unlike other cross border payment providers, WorldLink has been effecting RMB payments to China for the past seven years. In 2010, WorldLink processed RMB payments for over 170 clients worldwide. Several clients currently sending U.S. Dollars into China are also expected to take advantage of WorldLink's new process to make RMB payments to approved corporations.
The recent reforms have enabled Citi to significantly reduce the settlement timeframe for receipt of RMB payments to beneficiaries. Because the currency was so heavily restricted, special processing measures were put in place to accommodate the regulations. These measures increased the average receipt time of payments to beneficiaries. Utilizing WorldLink's unique intelligent distribution capabilities, payments to approved corporations in China can now be received by the beneficiary in as little as two business days and without any volume restrictions, which will translate into a significant benefit to clients.
In addition, the foreign exchange conversion could only previously be processed by the beneficiary bank. With Citi's new process for payments to approved corporations, WorldLink has been able to leverage Citi's global reach, with Citibank Shanghai completing the FX conversion before passing the payment instruction to the beneficiary bank. This will give WorldLink Payment Services increased control and visibility into the foreign exchange process.
Diane S. Reyes, Global Payments Head of Citi's Global Transaction Services said, "The world has been waiting for the Renminbi restrictions to loosen. With WorldLink we have been able to manage RMB payments in the context of the regulations. Now we can provide our clients with an improved offering which will allow them to cut their payments time to beneficiaries in China"
For over 25 years, WorldLink Payment Services has successfully enabled Citi's clients to issue payments in more than 135 currencies, by leveraging an existing network of over 225 partner relationships and accounts WorldLink makes over 30 million payments annually with a value of 750 billion US Dollar equivalent. The WorldLink solution is a convenient non-account-based product, offering multicurrency payment solutions for corporations, financial institutions and public entities. Supporting over 4,000 currency pair conversions, WorldLink provides transparent flexible foreign exchange options which are bundled with the most comprehensive distribution network of any international cash management service provider globally.
Global Transaction Services, a division of Citi's Institutional Clients Group, offers integrated cash management, trade, and securities and fund services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world. With a network that spans more than 100 countries, Citi's Global Transaction Services supports over 65,000 clients. As of the fourth quarter of 2010, it held on average $353 billion in liability balances and $12.6 trillion in assets under custody.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com