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Chinese State-Owned Bank Tests Digital Yuan ATMs In Shenzhen

The Agricultural Bank of China has rolled out “digital yuan-enabled” Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in some of its branches across the city of Shenzhen. This move is part of the innovations that have been added to the ongoing test of China’s digital yuan project in Shenzhen.

The digital yuan ATMs in Shenzhen will allow members of the public that are taking part in the ongoing trial to convert their digital yuan to cash, or effect a transaction the other way round. The Agricultural Bank of China is one of the four largest banks in the country, and the bank’s participation once again signifies efforts towards achieving the goal of a digital yuan project.

According to the manager of the Agricultural Bank’s Digital Yuan Innovation Lab, Zou Hua, the ATM rollout is part of efforts to guide citizens towards adapting to the eventual realities of the digitization of cash.

He says;

Agricultural Bank has taken the lead in launching the ATM cash deposit and withdrawal function in the industry to guide Shenzhen residents to adapt to the digitization of cash and explore service transformation.

This is the second major digital yuan trial in Shenzhen after a previous successful trial in October 2020. The current trial involves a volume and overall capacity that is about double that of the previous test, both in terms of the amount involved, and the number of participants.

Exactly $3 million worth of digital yuan was distributed among 100,000 users in the ongoing trial. Unlike the previous test where the equivalent of $1.5 million value of digital yuan was involved, and distributed among 50,000 residents of Shenzhen.  However, the number of merchants in participation this time is over three times with the number during the October 2020 trial.

Apart from the digital yuan ATM implementation by the Agricultural Bank of China, the offline touch-to-pay feature is also included in the ongoing trial. This feature was first implemented during the digital yuan trial in Suzhou, another city where the project was tested in December 2020. Despite registering some level of success, bugs were detected, which is expected to either become more established or ultimately taken care of, based on the outcome of the current trial in Shenzhen.

The second Shenzhen trial started on January 07 2021 and will continue until January 17 2021. During this period, winners of the “red packets”, each of which is worth 200 yuan, equivalent to $30 can spend them in any of the 10,000 participating merchant platforms in the city which includes shops, restaurants, and supermarkets.

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