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Four Chinese State-Owned Banks Confirm They’re Testing CBDC Digital Wallets

The latest news coming out of Chine confirm that not only has the country gone a long way ahead in its central bank digital currency development but that it has already begun conducting extensive tests on the everyday use of the upcoming digital yuan.

According to a local report, several large state-owned banks in China are testing digital wallets on a large scale. While the core development of China’s digital currency electronic payment system (DCEP) is almost entirely led by the country’s national bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), most of the initiatives regarding DCEP wallets and other services have originated in other commercial banks. 

Earlier this week, sources from several large state-owned banks told reporters that they were actively testing digital wallet applications on a large scale, especially in Shenzhen. These extensive tests have reportedly been going on for weeks and are part of the preparation for the official launch of the digital yuan.

“Our bank is testing the “digital yuan” app on a large scale. The app won’t be available for public download for the time being—it requires users to put in an identity code when accessing it,” a banker told reporters earlier this week.

In conversation with some of its sources, the report  found out that some of the banks’ employees have even used the applications for money transfer and payments. 

While it’s important to note that unconfirmed information like this shouldn’t be taken for granted, all information revealed matches the official statements coming both from the Chinese government and the country’s central bank. Earlier in April, the central bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute said that the digital yuan was undergoing closed pilot tests in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, and Chengdu.

With most bankers revealing that the majority of app testing took place in Shenzhen, the newly released information matches the official statement from the government. 

When it comes to the practical side of the digital yuan app that’s currently being tested en masse, a banker said that it will be available to all users of a bank. In order to register for the app, a user will first have to open a digital wallet with one of the four major banks—the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China, and China Construction bank. These digital wallets will then be linked to the accounts of the banks, allowing users to deposit and withdraw funds into the wallet. 

“The entire interface and operation logic of the “digital yuan” app will be somewhat similar to the China UnionPay Cloud QuickPass App,” a source revealed. 

The app will enable users to deposit and withdraw funds, transfer money, and scan various codes that can be used for purchases and payments. A novelty feature of the app will be the ability to transfer money to other people by only using their phone numbers—this non-network transfer function is currently being tested, reports have shown. 

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