China launched a two-way postal remittance service with Taiwan earlier this week. The Chinese daily Xinhua reports that this was the first formal money transfer from the mainland to Taiwan since 1949.
While people in mainland China would be able to receive inward remittances in some 20,000 post offices, outward remittances would be available at over 2,000 post offices. The Taiwan post office has already offered such a service since December.
The cost to send money is 8 percent of the transfer amount for sending up to 200 Yuan from mainland China to Taiwan, and for the other way around, a fixed fee of 400 new Taiwan dollars (about $12) for a mail transfer.
Apart from being a historic moment for migrants on both sides of the Straits, this step shows how postal networks—which have perhaps the widest reach among the population, especially in rural areas—can play an important role in facilitating formal cross-border remittance flows.