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China’s yuan now ranked 5th as global payment currency

The Chinese currency, the yuan, became the fifth most-used payment currency in the world as of November 2014; global transaction services organisation SWIFT said this week.

According to a research report by SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – the Chinese currency trails only the Japanese Yen, the British pound, the Euro and the U.S. dollar.

“The RMB [yuan] breaking into the top-five world payments currencies is an important milestone,” Wim Raymaekers, head of banking markets at SWIFT, said in a statement. “It is a great testimony to the internationalisation of the RMB and confirms its transition from an ’emerging’ to a ‘business as usual’ payment currency.”

Figures show yuan accounted for a record 2.17 percent of global payments in December 2014, up from 1.59 percent in October. The U.S. dollar topped the payment rankings with a share of 44.6 percent in December.

According to figures compiled by Reuters, payments settled in yuan surged by 102 percent last year, compared to an average annual growth of 4.4 percent for other currencies.