According to the Economic Information Daily report, gas stations in Chinese tech hub Shenzen are now accepting the digital yuan, China’s upcoming Central Bank Digital Currency, days after citizens received over $1.5 million in the currency as part of an ongoing pilot. The tests are being conducted by state agency Guangdong Petroleum, which launched the pilot on October 13 this week. To pay, citizens can scan a unique QR code available at the gas stations, similar to how commercial payment apps like Apple Pay work.
The digital yuan application utilizes a “dual offline” technology.
The digital yuan feedback has been positive so far, with citizens noting the transaction experience is seamless and only “takes a few seconds” to complete. The payment facility is available for all services, from refueling to the purchase of any retail items at gas station kiosks. The digital yuan application utilizes a “dual offline” technology, meaning as long as the mobile phone has electricity (without the need for a phone signal), users can complete any payments. This is different from the current system that is used by cashless payment apps like WeChat and many others, which require an internet connection to operate and even charge transaction fees.
Central banks continue to explore CBDCs worldwide.
The Chinese Parliament had stated earlier that it expected the CBDC dubbed DCEP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payment) to be completed and fully launched before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. As reported earlier, the Bank of Japan said it would conduct the first phase of experiments on basic functions core to CBDCs, such as issuance and distribution, early in the fiscal year beginning in April 2021. Central banks worldwide have expressed interest in CBDCs, and many of them are working actively on the same.