In China, digital yuan testing, which increasingly looks like a soft rollout, is continuing full steam ahead, with more banks allowing their customers to top up their e-CNY wallets.

Fast facts

  • An additional 13 banks have started to allow their customers to recharge their wallets directly in the e-CNY app, bringing the total number of banks supporting such a feature to 19, local media outlet 21th Century Business Herald reported this week.
  • The new banks offering a top-up feature include China Merchants Bank, China Citic Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Ping An Bank.
  • Meanwhile, in a district in Shenzhen, Postal Savings Bank of China is rolling out a campaign spanning from this month to December to reward bicyclists with e-CNY red envelopes, according to local media reports.
  • Going “green” has been an ongoing message in the promotion of e-CNY. In July, inhabitants of Xiong’an, a prototype so-called smart city, were encouraged to walk and run more to earn e-CNY for every 20,000 steps tracked by an app named Xiong’an Xing, up to a limit of 50 digital yuan (US$7.72) per redemption, according to an announcement by the Xiong’an government.
  • Also last month, in Chengdu, the capital city of the southwestern province of Sichuan, about 12 million digital yuan, was given out in a lottery to residents for use on public transport and shared bikes.
  • China has been actively testing the digital yuan. The central bank’s operations office in Beijing said earlier this month in its work plan for the second half of the year that it was accelerating its efforts to develop e-CNY payment scenarios for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.