Students attending Hainan Lu Xun Middle School in the Chinese city of Sanya are the first in the country to trial a digital yuan hard wallet device that enables them to make payments to designated merchants on and off the school’s campus using China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) as well as verify their identity using NFC.
Although referred to as a ‘student smart card’, the palm-sized device — known as the Super SIM Hard Wallet — resembles a feature smartphone and also allows students to make and receive calls from selected numbers, including those of trusted family members and emergency services.
Parents can transfer digital yuan to their child’s device from their digital yuan wallet app as well as set transaction limits, monitor expenditure and track their child’s location via the device’s GPS feature.
The Super SIM Hard Wallet has been developed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in partnership with mobile network operators including China Mobile because of Chinese regulations banning the use of conventional smartphones by students on primary and middle school premises.
“After the implementation of the digital renminbi smart student card project, by building a new digital campus system, the pain points of the complex management platform of the school and the inconvenience of home-school interaction have been solved,” Sina news agency reports.
“The school can realise the closed loop of the capital chain and reduce the risk of cash collection and payment.
“Parents and the school can view the location of students through the platform, query the trajectory and early warning records, effectively ensure the safety of students, and reassure parents.
“Students can use the digital RMB smart student ID card to realise the one-card application on campus.
“The school can select high-quality merchants inside and outside the campus to provide students with safe and reliable consumption scenarios by loading digital RMB smart contracts.
“Parents can not only learn about their children’s consumption through the digital RMB smart student ID card at any time, but also transfer their children’s living expenses conveniently and quickly to achieve a win-win situation for the school, parents and students.”
The People’s Bank of China began testing digital yuan hard wallets in January 2021 and a number of other Chinese banks have also released ‘hardware prototypes’ that support the digital currency.