PBOC reports results of central bank digital currency pilot

More than 113,000 Chinese consumers have now used a digital wallet supporting “multiple payment methods, including barcode, facial recognition and tap-and-go transactions” to conduct a transaction using China’s new central bank digital currency (CBDC), the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has revealed.

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In total, 3.13m digital yuan transactions with a total value of RMB1.1bn (US$162m) were conducted between April and August 2020, the bank’s deputy governor Fan Yifei has revealed.

Speaking at Sibos 2020, Yifei told the financial services conference that PBOC opened 113,300 consumer digital wallets and 8,859 digital corporate wallets to pilot the digital yuan in major cities such as Szhenzen and Xiongan, according to the South China Morning Post.

“The pilot programmes made ‘positive progress’, with more than 6,700 use cases implemented as of late August for transactions ranging from bill payments and transport to government services,” the publication reports Fan as saying.

The currency is being used for multiple payment methods, including barcode, facial recognition and tap-and-go transactions, Fan said.

“The government also used e-yuan red packets, in cooperation with the Shenzhen government, to reward about 5,000 medical and healthcare workers involved in the treatment of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, Fan said. The electronic red packets can be used at designated merchants in Luohu.”

PBOC announced in August that it was expanding its digital yuan pilot to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, with a trial also scheduled for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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