China’s JD.com lets consumers make online payments from digital yuan hard wallets using NFC

China’s JD.com digital yuan shopping machine
TAP AND PAY: Consumers can buy from JD.com using the digital yuan wallet app at ‘shopping machines’

Chinese consumers can now make online payments for purchases from the JD.com ecommerce app using digital yuan stored on a physical card or hard wallet via their Android NFC smartphone.

JD.com has added a ‘swipe card’ function to the ‘digital RMB payment’ option on its app, allowing users to transfer digital funds to pay for their in-app purchases by swiping their hard wallet with their mobile device rather than using a dedicated digital wallet or the pilot digital yuan wallet app.

“At present, this function has opened to users in some pilot cities and can support most mainstream Android models with NFC function on the market,” China’s Techweb agency reports.

JD.com has also deployed “large-screen shopping machines that support the use of digital renminbi in offline scenarios such as hotels, parks and bank outlets in some pilot cities to meet the needs of domestic and foreign users to consume digital renminbi,” Techweb says.

The machines allow users without a JD account to purchase products sold directly by JD using “the digital RMB app to scan codes or digital RMB ‘hardware wallets’ to tap and pay” and then take delivery of their purchases at “designated locations”.

In addition JD.com has now enabled third-party retailers to accept digital yuan through its online marketplace.

“JD has taken the lead in achieving a breakthrough in the ability to split e-CNY funds,” the company says.

“By integrating the e-CNY wallet management function of partners with JD’s existing settlement system, we will jointly promote the system construction of e-CNY in full-scene applications and continuously monitor the security, stability and compliance of the system.”

JD.com became the first Chinese virtual mall to accept digital yuan payments in December 2020 and began paying some of its staff in the digital currency in May 2021.

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.

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