The Bank of China, a state-owned financial institution, has announced its collaboration with China Unicom and China Telecom to conduct testing on SIM cards and near-field communication (NFC) payments linked to the digital yuan, also known as the e-CNY or renminbi. The pilot program will be carried out with selected users and in specific areas, and currently, it is compatible only with Android phones.
China Expands Digital Yuan Adoption to SIM Cards and Contactless Transactions
China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-CNY or digital yuan, is experiencing further development of its infrastructure. On July 10th, the Bank of China revealed that it is testing the country’s CBDC with SIM cards and NFC payments. Initially, the testing phase will involve chosen users, and in the near future, it will be gradually expanded to selected pilot areas.
To advance the digital yuan and unlock new possibilities, the Bank of China has joined forces with China Unicom and China Telecom. The SIM card hardware wallet, referred to as a “hardware wallet” by the state-owned financial institution, is a key component. According to the Bank of China’s press release, “Digital renminbi users only need to install the SIM card issued by the telecommunications operator on their phones, log in to the Digital Renminbi app, and activate the SIM card hardware wallet.”
The bank further explains:
“While using the digital renminbi SIM card hardware wallet, the balance is synchronized with the main wallet, eliminating the need for separate top-ups and providing a more convenient and user-friendly payment experience. The digital renminbi SIM card hardware wallet also supports offline payments.”
The Bank of China emphasizes its dedication to promoting SIM card hardware wallets and exploring various practical applications of the digital yuan. The bank aims to expand the horizons of its e-CNY initiative by investigating its potential across multiple industries, including rail transportation, everyday consumption, academic settings, online shopping, utility payments, business retail, and educational training. In alignment with the Internet of Things (IoT) trend, the bank envisions empowering SIM cards to cater to a vast number of IoT devices.
Prior to the digital yuan’s introduction for public transportation fares in Jinan, China, the Shanghai Clearing House also extended its support for the digital currency at the end of June. Presently, 11 countries have launched their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and research suggests that 130 countries, representing 98% of the global gross domestic product, are considering implementing CBDCs. In China, the pilot test of the CBDC involves a population of 260 million and encompasses various economic scenarios.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about digital yuan payments
What is the Bank of China testing with SIM cards and NFC payments?
The Bank of China is conducting testing with SIM cards and near-field communication (NFC) payments for the digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). This pilot program aims to explore the integration of the digital yuan into mobile payments using SIM card hardware wallets.
How does the SIM card hardware wallet work for digital yuan payments?
Users need to install the SIM card provided by their telecommunications operator on their Android phones. They can then log in to the Digital Renminbi app and activate the SIM card hardware wallet. The balance in the hardware wallet is synchronized with the main wallet, eliminating the need for separate top-ups. The hardware wallet also supports offline payments.
What is the purpose of the Bank of China’s partnership with China Unicom and China Telecom?
The partnership aims to streamline the digital yuan’s adoption and explore new capabilities. By collaborating with these telecommunications companies, the Bank of China seeks to leverage SIM cards and NFC technology to expand the reach of the digital yuan, making it more accessible and user-friendly.
Which industries and sectors are being considered for digital yuan applications?
The Bank of China is actively exploring practical applications of the digital yuan across various industries. These include rail transportation, everyday consumption, academic settings, online shopping, utility payments, business retail, educational training, and other potential use cases. The goal is to capitalize on the digital yuan’s potential and target a wide range of IoT devices.
How does China’s digital yuan compare to other countries’ CBDC initiatives?
China is one of the leading countries in the development and implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The pilot test of the digital yuan involves a significant population of 260 million people and encompasses diverse economic scenarios. Currently, 11 countries have launched their own CBDCs, and research indicates that 130 countries, representing 98% of global GDP, are considering implementing CBDCs.
More about digital yuan payments
- Bank of China: Official Website
- China Unicom: Official Website
- China Telecom: Official Website
- Digital Renminbi: People’s Bank of China
- Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): BIS
- Internet of Things (IoT): Wikipedia