China’s Helipay Looking To Set Up Cross-Border Transactions Infrastructure With Russia

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Chinese payment company Helipay is in talks with Russian banks to set up cross-border transactions, the company’s development director told the International Banking Forum in Sochi on Friday (September 29).

According to Rustem Zakirzyanov, the Vice Chairman of PJSC Minbank, 99% owned by the Bank of Russia, Helipay are looking for banks that can enable instant payments by Russian customers for Chinese goods. He explained that this is currently problematic, citing payments from Russian clients for Chinese cars, which can take months to process.

Helipay was established in 2013 and has a payment business license issued by the People’s Bank of China, according to the company’s official website. The service specializes in transfers and payments, including cross-border payments for small and medium-sized businesses.

“When Helipay receives such an opportunity, it will quickly attract a huge number of small and medium-sized businesses, and other Chinese enterprises to cooperate with Russia,” Zakirzyanov said. He added that Helipay is currently negotiating with three Russian credit institutions, one of which is considered systemically important. Zakirzyanov declined to name the banks, citing the confidentiality of negotiations.

For Helipay to start operating in Russia, legislative amendments will be needed to allow a payment service company to enter into a correspondent agreement with a credit institution.

“This is contrary to Russian legislation, which currently allows only interbank correspondent relations,” Zakirzyanov noted, adding that any such transactions need approval from the Russian Central bank.

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