Two of China’s largest state-owned banks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), are now offering two-way exchange between fiat cash yuan and e-CNY digital currency through more than 3,000 ATMs in Beijing, according to reports in local media.
- Over 3,000 ATMs in Beijing managed by ICBC support both digital yuan withdrawal and deposit services. ICBC Beijing has become the first bank branch to launch digital yuan exchange services on a large scale. ABC also has set up over 10 ATMs in Wangfujing, a major shopping street in Beijing, to support e-CNY exchange services.
- It takes only a minute or two to complete a digital yuan ATM transaction, according to the Beijing Youth Daily, an official newspaper of China’s Communist Youth League. Customers must already have a mobile phone with an e-CNY wallet app downloaded and registered with the designated banks.
- Two months ago at the Digital China Summit in Beijing, the Bank of China and ICBC tested a prototype ATM that supported digital yuan exchange services. The prototype’s functions not only included withdrawals and deposits of digital yuan but also supported foreign currency exchange. Those prototype ATMs also provided DCEP hardware wallets in the form of bank cards with an account balance counter and therefore did not require customers to have a mobile phone or app. The new ATMs were introduced without the foreign currency exchange and e-CNY hardware wallet functions.
- E-CNY, formerly known by its original project name, DCEP (Digital Currency, Electronic Payment), is China’s ambitious central bank digital currency project. Led by People’s Bank of China, e-CNY has been in research and development for seven years and has now gone through 11 large-scale tests involving millions of people and retailers in eight cities.