SWIFT: Chinese yuan gains share as world payments currency in January 2016

SWIFT has just published the latest edition of its RMB Tracker, the monthly report that monitors the international use of the Chinese currency.

The latest report shows that the Yuan gained some share as a world payments currency in January 2016, although it stayed at #5 in the ranking. The RMB accounted for 2.45% of global payments in January, up slightly from the share of 2.31% reported in December 2015.

The Chinese currency still lags behind the Japanese Yen, which stands at #4 with a share of 3.07% of international payments.

The top three international payments currencies for January includes:

  • USD – 42.96% share;
  • EUR – 29.43% share;
  • GBP – 8.66% share.


The latest SWIFT report notes that Malaysia’s use of the yuan for payments with China and Hong Kong rose 68% over the last 12 months and 214% over the last three years. Since January 2013, the Chinese currency moved from position number three to position number two for payments by value, overtaking the Malaysian Ringgit.

Michael Moon, Head of Payments, Asia-Pacific at SWIFT, says,

Despite volatility in China, and widely reported economic slowdown, the South-East Asian markets, such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, have been enhancing RMB payment capabilities, including the establishment of RMB clearing centres. This growth reflects the extensive trading relationships between South-East Asia and China, which continues to be very important for the region”.

You can download the latest SWIFT report by clicking here.

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