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Handling paychecks in China

There are 2 ways of handling money on company’s bank account nowadays:

1. Simple, convenient and fast one is online banking. Different banks in China have their own subtleties, but in general, they have same way of providing service. After opening a corporate bank account, you receive USB-tokens, plug them in a computer, download bank software and plugins, and get a full control of your account through a web browser.

2. Complicated, inconvenient and long one is writing paychecks (支票). Very few people use them, mostly they exist for breakdown or emergency situations. Anything may happen: USB-token got into water and broke, the accountant got sick, etc. But the counterparty won’t wait, right?

The second one is the topic of this article. First of all, upon opening a corporate bank account you will be given a “paycheck buyer certificate” (购买支票专用证). Every time you handle the corporate bank account’s money you will have to show this document to the bank employee.

Certificate in the picture is an A4 paper bended in half. This one is from ICBC bank.

When the formalization procedure of such a certificate is complete, you take the certificate, as well as your passport, company’s license, permission to open an account, and go to the bank for purchasing paychecks. Paycheck fee in ICBC bank is about 1,5 yuan for 20 paychecks. Prior to getting your paychecks you should also purchase a paycheck password generator. It looks like this:

The one to the left is the paycheck generator, the one to the right is a personal bank account generator. Do you feel the difference in size?

After a bank employee activates your password generator, you will need to fill in a form for purchasing paychecks, pay the fees and receive your paychecks the next day.

This is how a paycheck from ICBC bank looks like

You can perform following actions using your paychecks:

1. Withdraw cash from a bank account
2. Make a bank transfer
3. Write a bill of exchange
4. Write a promissory bill
5. Else

After you finish filling the forms, counterpart information and the sum, you will need to activate your password generator mentioned above and generate a password for the transaction in three steps:

1. Transaction date
2. Transaction type
3. Sum of the transaction

Then you should write the password on the bill, give it to the bank employee together with other documents and wait for transaction to complete. Take the tear-off part of the form and enjoy the fact that you’ve done a tremendous job, the job that can be done by only 2 clicks in online banking.

Never lose access to your online banking!

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