September 22, 2023
By Anjali Kochhar
In a bid to bolster the adoption of its digital currency, the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has rolled out a substantial update to its digital yuan application. Initially launched in early 2022, the mobile app received a major overhaul at the close of the previous year. The latest update extends a range of functionalities for citizens within the digital yuan pilot zone.
One of the prominent additions is the ability to conveniently pay water, electricity, gas, and heating bills through the app. Furthermore, users can now manage their landline and mobile phone bills, broadband internet expenses, and cable TV subscriptions effortlessly. The application also allows for seamless top-ups of pay-as-you-go mobile plans.
The updated app introduces a dedicated “services” menu, establishing partnerships with several state-owned entities, including telecom firms and energy providers. This integration enables users to conduct real-time Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) transactions. Notably, a screenshot from Weibo showcases the user interface, highlighting the straightforward process of making utility payments via the provided CBDC apps.
The app also introduces a “Quick Payment Management” menu, which links users to a network of 140 merchant platforms. This encompasses major players in the private sector, retail behemoths, as well as travel, lifestyle, and tourism operators. Among the notable platforms integrated are Meituan, JD.com, and Alibaba’s Taobao. Additionally, partners like Didi Chuxing, a leading vehicle hire service, and Vipshop, a discount retailer, now offer two payment options for digital yuan users in the pilot zone.
Reports from the first half of the year indicate a surge in CBDC-related product innovation and an amplified CBDC penetration rate among the PBoC’s key partners. These developments serve as a solid foundation for forthcoming phases of the CBDC pilot program. According to a study by the China International Capital Corporation, a comprehensive digital yuan ecosystem is projected to be fully established in China by the conclusion of 2025. The study also anticipates notable advancements in the PBoC’s CBDC adoption initiatives throughout the remainder of 2023.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.