(Yicai) Sept. 28 -- To better serve the international athletes and staff at the Asian Games being held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, the country’s foreign exchange regulator has customized policies to facilitate the conversion of as many as 28 currencies.
More than 90 percent of the 121 hotels designated by the Games organizers provide foreign exchange services, with 28 offering a two-way exchange, Yicai learned. Twenty-two self-service forex machines were also installed in key locations, including the athletes' village and sports venues, to make currency exchanges more convenient and professional and meet the needs of participants and other attendees.
Since the Asian Games Village opened on Sept. 16, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's Hangzhou arm has served more than 8,100 participants and handled 1,639 currency exchanges worth CNY6 million (USD821,591) via branches, self-service machines, and automated teller machines, a manager at the lender told Yicai.
The Zhejiang branch of Bank of China has also facilitated 520 foreign exchange operations related to the Asian Games, totaling CNY2.1 million since Sept. 14.
In addition, mobile payment service providers such as Alibaba Group’s Alipay are meeting the online and offline spending needs of overseas visitors.
Alipay has shortened the time for them to register accounts, authenticate their identities, and connect bank cards to the app, according to a staffer. Apart from using the app to make payments in physical stores, foreigners can also use it to take buses and subways, book hotels, and buy tickets for planes, tourist spots, and the Asian Games, the person added.
Alipay has extended the use of its app to more than 40,000 key offline merchants from six cities hosting events during the Asian Games and updated the payment codes of over 25,000 taxi drivers so that overseas visitors can buy their products and make use of their services.
Editor: Martin Kadiev