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UnionPay is debuting a digital yuan self-service feature to assist merchants with seamless and speedy transactions.
According to reports from China National Radio, UnionPay is planning to launch a self-service registration website for the digital yuan (e-CNY). With this feature, merchants or retailers can sign up for access to China’s electronic national currency.
For this digital yuan initiative, UnionPay is partnering with the Digital Currency Research Institute, which is the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) branch of the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The strategic cooperation agreement between UnionPay and the Digital Currency Research Institute makes UnionPay “one of the first third-party payment service institutions” in China to achieve this.
UnionPay’s latest initiative reflects the current trend among Chinese businesses to find more uses for the digital yuan. This trend also sees more merchants offering services that make them privy to CBDC payments administered via third-party operators. In this case, UnionPay merchants will be able to accept electronic yuan in-store payments, in addition to their own apps. In addition, Chinese retailers will also be able to offer H5 payment options, which refers to mobile web pages in China. These web pages are usually created for promotional purposes and shared in the WeChat ecosystem.
Another instrumental player in the UnionPay e-CNY initiative is the China Construction Bank (CCB), one of the four largest in the country.
UnionPay’s Digital Yuan Initiative Is a Much-Needed Remedy for the COVID-Triggered Shutdown
UnionPay considers it necessary to fast-track its digital yuan initiative. The leading Chinese financial services corporation thinks it is required because of several government-mandated lockdowns caused by COVID. Shanghai, a global financial hub and incidental base of UnionPay’s headquarters, is one of the cities currently enforcing lockdowns. Although necessary, the lockdowns create a bottleneck and impede the ease of financial transactions conducted daily. Consequently, UnionPay believes that proper adoption and ease of use for the digital yuan could improve some of the financial transaction restraints.
According to reports, the entire activation process for the initiative takes around five minutes. For starters, the electronic yuan platform will only support CCB digital CNY wallets. Nonetheless, there are plans to incorporate other wallets operated by other financial institutions on a one-by-one basis down the stretch.
In other news, businesses in China are starting to leverage the digital yuan for business-to-business (B2B) payments. However, the pilot’s focus is currently on payments of a relatively micro nature. These include consumer-to-business payments, micropayments, transport fee payments, and funds transfers to and from individuals and government organs. Major dealings such as inter-business transactions are still somewhat new to China’s CBDC landscape.
Early on March 25th, the Suzhou High-Speed Rail New Town State-owned Assets Holding Group completed the first transaction. However, a WXRB report did not reveal who the payment recipient was, nor the purpose of the payment. The reported amount was $17,263