China's central bank has announced that it will eventually ban all non-bank payment agencies, including Alipay, from access to clients' money.
As a first step, starting from April 17, a total of 267 third-party organizations with central bank licenses in China will have to submit about 20% of customer provisions, or funds, to appointed bank accounts.
The move is the latest step taken by the central bank to tackle the financial risks caused by a rising number of institutions found illegally embezzling the money.
Customer provisions is the money held by third-party organizations that are not the property of the organization.
The exact amount handed in by each institution will be calculated based on the daily average balance of the provisions in the previous quarter, and will be adjusted quarterly thereafter.
"The 20% level aims to leave time for institutions to adapt to the new rules," Xie Zhong, head of the central bank's payment and settlement department, said. "The final level will be 100%," meaning that the central bank will be the only authority governing the provisions.
Xie did not provide a specific timeline for adjusting the level.