World's most-used payment currencies: China's renminbi knocks Japan's yen off fourth place behind the US dollar, the euro and sterling

Jessica Morris
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China took steps to devalue its currency in August (Source: Getty)

China's renminbi became the fourth most-used world payment currency in August, overtaking Japan's yen, meaning it's behind only the US dollar, the euro and the sterling.

"Important to note is the volatility in the Chinese market and the devaluations of the renminbi, which took place in August 2015. These facts likely played a significant role in its increased usage," according to the report by global transaction services organisation Swift.

In August, China sent shockwaves through financial markets when it repeatedly devalued its currency. Commentators were split, with some arguing this should stoke concern over its slowing economy, and others saying its part the country's longer-term reform agenda.

(Source: Swift)

The renminbi has surpassed seven currencies in the past three years as a payment currency. Just three years ago, it ranked 12th with a share of 0.84 per cent.

"Since 2011, the renminbi has steadily progressed along its path to become a global currency in international trade," the report said.

Swift’s figures suggest many renminbi data points continue to progress positively in areas such as payments, trade, treasury, bank adoption, and offshore clearing centre growth.

(Source: Swift)

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