As the Asian Games draws near, China is seeing a surge in the use of digital yuan payments for transportation in preparation for the event. Venue cities such as Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province are taking steps to facilitate the use of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in various ways.
According to Shanghai Securities News, the host city, Hangzhou, is progressing significantly in its preparation for the games, which were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has updated its official digital yuan app to incorporate a new “ride code” feature to make things easier for smartphone users when using the Hangzhou Metro.
Through the “ride code” feature, commuters can scan their devices with ease, and the metro system then automatically deducts the transportation fees from the users’ e-CNY wallets. This function is set to be available in the Shaoxing Metro in the nearby city of Shaoxing, where five Asian Games events, including baseball and volleyball, will be held.
The Hangzhou-Hai Intercity Railway, which connects significant cities in Zhejiang Province, has also introduced the ride code system to enhance accessibility and offer passengers a smooth payment experience, further expanding the convenience of the CBDC adoption.
The Asian Games offers a perfect opportunity for China to showcase the innovations and potentials of its digital yuan, especially since it could not do so due to scaled-down demonstrations at the 2022 Winter Olympics occasion by the pandemic. Through the event, the government aims to promote the adoption of the CBDC, and this was evident when athletes and coaches were encouraged to use the currency. They also received free commemorative e-CNY hard wallets during the ceremony to boost its acceptance.
The Asian Games is China’s first significant international sporting event since the pandemic, and it coincides with the advanced phase of the CBDC pilot program. Previously, Ningbo, another city in Zhejiang Province, announced that digital yuan payments would be available at all of its 125 metro stations, including its ticket barriers.
The PBoC has made a significant stride in improving the digital yuan app by incorporating updates, such as electricity-free payments, enabling citizens in the pilot zone to conduct transactions seamlessly even without network coverage or their smartphones being on.
The integration of the digital yuan payments into the transportation and other sectors is part of China’s drive to showcase the CBDC’s widespread adoption and progress, hoping to dazzle the world with its innovative digital currency initiative at the upcoming Asian Games.
Compiled by Coinbold