China Allows Visitors to Top Up Digital Yuan Wallets with Visa, Mastercard, Cash

Trying to make the digital yuan more attractive for foreigners, China has added a “recharge before use” feature to its digital currency system. The upgrade will allow visitors from abroad to replenish a digital yuan wallet through the global payment networks Visa and Mastercard among other methods.

China Allows Foreign Users of Its Digital Yuan to Preload Their E-CNY Wallets

The operators of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform have upgraded its payment services to make the process of spending the digital yuan (e-CNY) more user-friendly to foreign nationals visiting the country, the state-run China.org.cn portal informed readers.

The newly introduced “recharge before use” feature on the digital yuan app allows visitors to replenish the built-in e-CNY wallet using the online services of the leading global payment networks Visa and Mastercard.

Foreigners can also load the Chinese digital currency wallet by depositing cash in a bank office. At the end of their stay, they will be able to return any remaining balance to their overseas bank card or account used in the beginning.

The report notes that as mobile payments have become more dominant in China than other regions, the new option will offer foreigners a better experience during their visit. Previously, they could not top up their e-CNY wallets in advance, the article recalled.

The change will provide foreign users with equal access to more convenient payment methods such as the “quick pay” option. It will also let them spend their e-CNY both at physical stores accepting the digital currency as well as online platforms such as ride-hailing app Didi, takeaway service provider Meituan, travel portal Ctrip, and e-commerce retailer JD.

According to Dong Ximiao, chief researcher at Merchants Union Consumer Finance, the upgrade will create a more convenient payment environment for people visiting China. Zhou Maohua, an analyst at China Everbright Bank, believes it will also increase the presence of the digital yuan in cross-border transactions. Both are convinced that the move will promote the Chinese CBDC internationally.

China has been developing the digital version of the yuan since 2014 and has launched a number of trials in the past couple of years. At the end May, its central bank announced that e-CNY transactions in trial regions had reached 264 million, totaling 83 billion yuan ($11.4 billion) in value. By the end of June, they were already at 1.8 trillion yuan ($250 billion) with 16.5 billion digital yuan in circulation.

Do you think the latest update of the digital yuan payment system will convince more visitors to use the CBDC? Tell us in the comments section below.

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