China banks scrap charges on mobile money transfers

China's five biggest commercial banks announced on Thursday that they will no longer charge fees on domestic yuan transfers through cellphone, including inter-bank transactions.

Effective as of Thursday, fees will also be scrapped on domestic yuan transfers through the Internet as long as the transaction is under 5,000 yuan (765 U.S. dollars), according to a joint statement by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Bank of Communications.

The move comes as traditional banks are facing growing competition from Internet companies in the crowded mobile payment market. WeChat, a popular messaging and social app owned by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, offers free peer-to-peer transfers through its platform.

The five banks will also speed up categorizing its existing accounts to offer differentiated online services.