Agricultural Bank of China pilots central bank digital currency ATMs

People's Bank of China digital currency on smartphone screen
TEST BED: Customers in Shenzhen will be able to deposit and withdraw digital yuan at the pilot ATMs

The Agricultural Bank of China has launched pilot ATMs that enable customers in Shenzhen to deposit and withdraw money in the form of digital yuan, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The launch comes as part of the third large-scale trial of the digital currency in the city by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which has seen it distribute some 20m digital yuan to 100,000 consumers for QR code and touch-enabled payments at 11,000 retail outlets.

“The payment methods and merchant coverage of this trial are more abundant, and major banks are increasing the innovation of digital renminbi applications,” Shenzhen News reports.

“Agricultural Bank of China took the lead in launching ATM machines. The deposit and withdrawal function of digital renminbi guides citizens to adapt to the digitalization of cash and explore service transformation.”

The bank has also established “a head office-level ‘digital renminbi innovation laboratory’ in Shenzhen this year, focusing on the characteristics of digital renminbi to carry out innovation and pilot projects in new areas,” the publication adds.

“The Agricultural Bank of China will continue to conduct in-depth trials and continue to innovate and apply in public utility payment, people’s livelihood improvement, urban development and smart government affairs.”

In addition to the Shenzhen trial, PBOC is also testing the use of digital yuan to make NFC payments with a ‘hard wallet’ contactless smart card and wearable devices.

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