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PBOC tests CBDC for in-store payments via contactless cards and wearables

Monday 11 January 2021 10:25 CET | News

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has begun piloting its central bank digital currency (CBDC) for in-store payments via contactless cards and wearables.

The bank has included a contactless hard wallet and NFC wearables that enable consumers to make in-store and transit fare payments with their digital yuan. The test follows PBOC’s kicking off the ‘red envelope’ lottery in Shenzhen, offering 100,000 residents the chance to win 200 digital yuan (USD 31) that they can then use to make in-store payments at more than 10,000 merchants across the city.

The digital yuan hard wallet is like a conventional smart card and allows users to store and make contactless NFC payments with the digital currency without needing to use a digital wallet on a mobile phone.

The device is being tested at Tongren Hospital in Shanghai and has been designed to assist users ‘in payment scenarios such as hospital diagnosis and treatment payments, physical examinations, and parking fees’.

Moreover, PBOC has also begun testing digital yuan payments using a variety of contactless wearable devices in Beijing in preparation for a wider pilot in the Chinese capital during the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to NFC World.

The devices include ‘ultra-thin card wallets, visual card wallets and badges, watches, bracelets, and other wearable device wallets’, NFC quoted Beijing Daily.

The red-envelope lottery in Shenzhen is the third such giveaway PBOC has held in China and has seen nearly 1.9m city residents apply to receive a digital wallet containing 200 digital yuan on their mobile phone. Shenzhen residents spent nearly 9m digital yuan during the city’s first CBDC pilot in October 2020.

To learn more about this topic, CBDCs, download our ebook Central Bank Digital Currencies for Dummies – A Quick Guide into CBDCs.


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Keywords: CBDCs, card wallets, NFC, contactless hard wallet, NFC, wearables, China, merchants, payments, digital yuan, People’s Bank of China, PBOC
Categories: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies | Cryptocurrencies
Countries: China
This article is part of category

Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies