Navigating the Process of RMB Payment to Chinese Suppliers

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Adaora Nnene

Last updated: 29th January, 2024


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As the world of global trade, commerce, and e-commerce continues to grow, one of the focal points of international trade and commerce is payment systems, platforms, and methods, which could pose a significant challenge to individuals needing to be more conversant with the payment industry. 

Regarding Chinese Procurement, one question potential buyers ask is, how do I pay my supplier? The fear of fraudulent activities has made most people develop cold feet toward Chinese Procurement however, those risks can be minimised by getting a clear and concise response to this question, as the answer will guide you through your procurement and payment process.

The tight regulation and strict control placed on the Chinese currency, Renminbi (RMB), by the Chinese government in a bid to regulate the flow of money and maintain a stable currency exchange makes the RMB payment process even more difficult as there are restrictions on the amount of money to be paid or transferred from a particular account and a lot of requirements and paperwork need to be met before a successful payment process.

Additionally, the complex and not-too-friendly nature of the Chinese banking system towards foreigners, coupled with language barriers, makes the process even more cumbersome.

Despite these challenges, understanding the available payment options and choosing one that best aligns with your business goals will make the difference and the process less challenging.

Although there are several RMB payment options for foreigners procuring from China, like, Wise Business, Telegraphic Transfer, Escrow, Letters of Credit (LCs), PayPal, Western Union, and International credit or debit cards, the most common methods used by Nigerian buyers include Bank Transfer, Alipay, and WeChat Pay.

Bank Transfers

Most banks have international money transfer platforms, which enables direct payment from the buyer's bank account to the recipient's local bank account in RMB. However, this can take 3-5 working days due to the complex requirements and stages required to process international money transfers through the SWIFT network. Here, payments pass through several intermediaries, which slows down the process. 


Alipay is a payment app/platform and digital wallet empowering users to quickly transact without using cash. With over one billion users enjoying over 100 services in the app, such as instant credit, installment payments, and cash back, this payment method has become a common choice for those who want to make international payments, especially in the e-commerce industry.

How Alipay Works

It utilises a digital wallet linked to the customer for all transactions. It also has a QR (Quick Response) code system that enables the suppliers to present a barcode or mobile QR code for their customers to scan to make and receive payments.

With Alipay, funds are released or allowed to hit an account once there is a confirmation from both sides of the transaction, thereby ensuring the security of funds. By implication, the transaction can take less than an hour to complete or days, depending on the confirmation rate of the parties to the transaction.  

WeChat Pay 

The WeChat messaging app will be familiar to most people who procure from China. WeChat Pay is a payment gateway in the WeChat messaging app that allows users to make instant payments using their smartphones or computer systems. 

How WeChat Pay Works

WeChat has different payment options like Quick Pay, In-App Web-Based Payments, QR Code Payments, and Native In-App Payments, all catering to different payment situations.

Four critical factors before choosing a payment method for paying suppliers in RMB are cost, convenience, speed, and security. 

Even after considering these factors, it is advisable to consider and use the services of payment service providers that specialise in international payments, like SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED. 

As a payment service provider, we offer instant and hassle-free payment to our clients with no extra charges while ensuring compliance with regulations and building solid relationships between them and their suppliers.

Visit our physical office space at 3 Fatai Irawo Street, Ajao Estate, Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria, or any of our warehouse touch point locations worldwide to learn more about us and utilise our services. 

Our 247-email correspondence is

We are equally social, and you can find us @SaraProcure on your favourite channels: Twitter, Threads, Facebook, and Instagram. 

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Adaora Nnene


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