The People's Bank of China has responded to widespread complaints about the nation's outdated bank payment system by publishing a notice on its website outlining plans to improve and modernise basic banking services. 'There is a contradiction between the increased demand from individuals to settle bills and the level of service provided by commercial banks,' the notice said, vowing to address the 'phenomenon of severe queues' common in crowded high-street banks across the country. A visit to the bank is necessary for an array of basic payments, including settling water, electricity, gas and telephone bills, and advanced services such as securing car loans, making fund investments and buying insurance. The central bank promises to simplify procedures for employers making payments to individual accounts, promote non-cash forms of payment, improve training for bank staff, install more automated services and enlarge payment service supervision. The notice also outlined plans to simplify the procedure for upgrading basic savings accounts, which merely allow account holders to deposit and withdraw cash, to accounts giving the full range of remittance and credit services common in developed banking systems. One measure is to promote greater use of electronic payments and written cheques in lieu of hard cash, which is still used for settling most bills on the mainland. 'When residents buy cars, property and investment funds, they typically have to withdraw a large amount of cash out of one bank and then physically deposit it in another,' the notice said, pointing to the success of a pilot project in Jiangsu province , where bank-cheque payments topped 2.3 trillion yuan last year. Another measure is an increase from 5,000 to 20,000 yuan in the daily maximum allowed to be withdrawn from cash machines. 'As the economy has developed and everyday payments have increased, 5,000 yuan is no longer enough to satisfy citizens' daily cash demands,' the notice said. Paying everyday bills on the mainland frequently requires frustrating, wasted hours queuing in the local bank. And limited opening hours means that many white-collar workers have resorted to hiring proxies to settle bills on their behalf. Five years ago, finding a functioning ATM was a challenge in many mainland cities, but 24-hour cash points are increasingly common - though finding a machine that accepts foreign credit cards can still be a problem.