UnionPay bank cards in China: obtaining, restrictions, functions, unlocking, limits

UnionPay is China's national payment system, established in 2002, features:

1. When making transactions abroad in a currency other than the currency of the account, the exchange rate applicable on the date of the transaction, and not on the day it is reflected on the account, is applied during conversion.


2. Cards issued in China have a six-digit PIN code, issued abroad - a four-digit one. When using a foreign UnionPay card in China, add 2 extra zeros at the end when dialing the PIN.

When using a Chinese card in other countries where a 4-digit PIN is accepted, you must enter six zeros or simply press the OK key (it is better to follow the prompts of the cashier).



1. Deposit and withdraw cash.

2. Transferring money to other accounts through bank branches, online banking, self-service and other channels.

3. Collection and payment. A debit card can be used to pay salaries and various fees.



1. Foreign citizens must present a passport with a residence permit for foreigners or a long-term visa (with a one-time residence period of at least 180 days) to open an account and receive a card


2. Bring your ID and a small amount of cash to the bank branch

3. Fill out the form with the help of employees in the lobby of the bank

4. Get a queue number and copy ID with the help of the staff


5.Go to the counter and give the bank employee the completed form and identification card. When applying for a card, you will need to come up with a PIN, which consists of six digits.

6. After completing all the procedures, you will receive a bank card.



On December 29, 2017, the State Monetary Administration of China issued the "Notice of the State Monetary Administration Regarding the Regulation of Overseas Large-Amount Cash Withdrawals Using Bank Cards" (汇发〔201729), which introduced restrictions on cash withdrawals: the maximum daily The domestic debit card cash withdrawal limit in China is 20,000 yuan, and the maximum daily cash withdrawal limit abroad per card is equivalent to 10,000 yuan.


The amount of cash withdrawals abroad per person should not exceed the equivalent of 100,000 RMB per year. At the same time, the restrictions apply to specific individuals, not cards - even if you have 10 cards, you still cannot withdraw from them more than 100,000 yuan per year in total for all your cards.


Also, individuals are not allowed to borrow other people's bank cards for cash withdrawals.

The State Monetary Administration stated that the regulation of large cash withdrawals abroad using bank cards is a necessary measure to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion.


This "Notice" complies with current account convertibility requirements and does not change the US$50,000 annual foreign currency purchase limit for personal use.



As early as September 1, 2017, a bank card financial institution in China reports all withdrawals and one-time consumer transactions of 1,000 yuan or more with a domestic bank card abroad to the China Monetary Bureau.


Therefore, if you withdraw or spend more than 1000 RMB from your Chinese card abroad on a regular basis and you do not currently have a valid Chinese residence permit, your card is very likely to be blocked.


If you enter the wrong PIN 3 times and your card is blocked, UnionPay Center will automatically unblock the card after 24 hours, so there is no need to go to the bank to unblock it.


However, some banks advise that if the bank card is blocked due to an incorrect password, then the client must bring his ID card to any branch in order to complete the unblocking procedure. Therefore, whether or not to go to the bank to unblock a bank card depends on the rules of the issuing bank.


After the bank card is blocked, the client can call the customer service hotline of the issuing bank to find out about the reason for blocking and the process of unblocking



In general, the Bank of China debit card is already activated at the time it is processed, and some of those that are not activated can be activated in the following ways.


Phone activation: dial the bank customer service number 95566, press 1, Chinese service, press 6, bank card service, press 1, apply for a card and activate the card, press 1, activate the card, press 1, open the ID card, enter The number of the bank card to be activated, enter the identification number, enter the expiration date of the bank card, set according to voice prompts or enter the password, the system will tell you that the bank card has been successfully activated. Bank activation: bring your ID and bank card to the bank to activate



Please note: in general, for UnionPay cards that are issued abroad with a 4-digit PIN, you must enter two zeros at the end when used at PRC ATMs, but there are ATMs of some PRC banks that work with software updated to international requirements, 4 digits of the PIN are enough if you press the green Enter button, but there are fewer such ATMs. And if you enter 4 digits plus 2 zeros, then you don’t need to press the Enter button, the PIN will be accepted at any ATM in China automatically



They depend on the issuing bank, the type of replenishment, the type of card and the settings set by the user (if any). Consider, for example, the online transfer limit for a Bank of China debit card:

1. One-time limit: 50,000 yuan

2.Daily limit: 100,000 yuan

Interbank transfer time:

1. Interbank transfer during business hours on regular business days, and funds are received by the recipient bank in real time.

2. On holidays and time periods other than those specified above, if the transfer amount is less than 20,000 and the system transfer was successful, then the funds are received by the recipient bank within 24 hours