The Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) is a payment system which offers clearing and settlement services for its participants in cross-border RMB payments and trade. It is a significant financial market infrastructure in China. As planned, CIPS will be developed in two phases. On 8 October 2015, CIPS (Phase I) went live. The first batch of direct participants includes 19 Chinese and foreign banks which were set up in mainland China and 176 indirect participants which cover 6 continents and 47 countries and regions. On 25 March 2016, CIPS signed an MoU with SWIFT with mutual understanding of deploying SWIFT as a secure, efficient and reliable communication channel for CIPS's connection with SWIFT's members, which would provide a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment. CIPS is sometimes referred to as the China Interbank Payment System.
CIPS would not facilitate funds transfer; rather, it sends payment orders, which must be settled by correspondent accounts that the institutions have with each other. Each financial institution, to exchange banking transactions, must have a banking relationship by either being a bank or affiliating itself with one (or more) so as to enjoy those particular business features.
However, it was reported in July 2015 that CIPS would be '"watered down" and used only for cross-border yuan trade deals rather than including capital-related transactions, which would delay billions of dollars' worth of transactions, including securities purchases and foreign direct investment, that would have gone through the system. It was reported to be a second setback to the plan to provide a unified network for settling deals in yuan after technical problems delayed its launch, and that other measures to open up China's financial infrastructure have been dented by the 2015 Chinese stock market crash. It was said to now offer, at best, a complementary network for settling trade-related deals in the Chinese currency to a current patchwork of Chinese clearing banks around the world.
CIPS is expected to use the SWIFT industry standard for syntax in financial messages. Messages formatted to SWIFT standards can be read by, and processed by, many well-known financial processing systems, whether or not the message traveled over the SWIFT network. SWIFT cooperates with international organizations for defining standards for message format and content. CIPS would conceivably also subscribe to registration authority (RA) for the following ISO standards:
- ISO 9362: 1994 Banking—Banking telecommunication messages—Bank identifier codes
- ISO 10383: 2003 Securities and related financial instruments—Codes for exchanges and market identification (MIC)
- ISO 13616: 2003 IBAN Registry
- ISO 15022: 1999 Securities—Scheme for messages (Data Field Dictionary) (replaces ISO 7775)
- ISO 20022-1: 2004 and ISO 20022-2:2007 Financial services—UNIversal Financial Industry message scheme
- ABA routing transit number
- Bilateral key exchange and the new Relationship Management Application (RMA)
- Electronic money
- ISO 9362, the SWIFT/BIC code standard
- ISO 15022
- ISO 20022
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Routing number (Canada)
- Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
- Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
- SPFS (Russia)
- Value transfer system
- Saikat Chatterjee, Hong Kong (13 July 2015). "Exclusive - China's payments system scaled back; trade deals only: sources". Reuters News Agency. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "ISO Maintenance agencies and registration authorities]".
- "RFC 3615 – A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for SWIFT Fin".