Industry News

Beijing airport pilots e-CNY payments service

TL; DR Breakdown

  • Beijing airport is piloting a digital yuan (e-CNY) payment system. Passengers will use it for transactions within the facility.
  • China is at an advanced stage of adopting e-CNY. Analysts believe that the currency could become the global reserve currency.

Beijing airport is testing a digital yuan (e-CNY) payment service. China’s Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed this news in an October 12, 2021 statement. The e-CNY, also known as digital renminbi (e-RMB), is China’s version of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

Passengers at the airport will use e-CNY to pay for a variety of payment needs. These include their shopping at the airport’s stores. Additionally, they’ll use it to pay for parking services at the facility’s lot.

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), is piloting the CBDC in the country. The trials cover select districts and cities in the country. These include Shanghai, Suzhou, Cheydou, and Shenzhen.

Additionally, the PBOC is trialing the e-CNY in Beijing’s 2022 winter Olympic Village. Beijing airport is a crucial service provider for the village hence its involvement in the trials. It’ll facilitate payments in over 110 shops and all of the venue’s parking lots.

Beijing trials e-CNY in public transport

Beijing airport is the first of such facilities to offer the e-CNY payment function. To use it, you’ll have to download a supporting payment app. You’ll then complete the transactions through a QR code.

The airport insists that it’s exploring expanding the payment modes. In the future, you may opt to use a one-click payment option. Alternatively, you could use either of the dual offline or online payments options. Its commercial arm says these developments aim at improving its customers’ experiences. 

In related developments, Beijing is also piloting e-CNY payments in its public transport. The Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration (BFSA) office is promoting the coin. 

In the promo, commuters on the city’s subway and buses will get coupons from BFSA. They’ll then redeem the coupons in e-RMB for their commutes. The coupons will discount their fares to as low as one-hundredth of a Yuan.

To enjoy these discounts, one has to have the Ruuby Pay app. Again, they’ll need to register with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as e-CNY users. Passengers are using this function in the city’s rail transit routes and four suburban lines.

e-RMB could be the global reserve currency

Many nations are in various stages of developing their CBDCs. China seems to have stolen the thunder from many of the developed countries by its e-CNY trials. As they lag in developing a prototype, China is gearing up for mass usage.

Some analysts are suggesting that the e-RMB will upset the global economic order. They hold it’ll have a fast-mover advantage over any other sovereign digital currency. CBDCs are the future of money, and the e-RMB could usurp the dollar’s world reserve currency role.

China’s continuing clampdown on crypto-related activity, however, overshadows all these developments. Through the PBOC, its government has outlawed both mining and payments in crypto. It says that it’s doing so to curb crypto-related ills. 

One illegal activity that the PBOC hopes to stem with the bans is money laundering. The bank also says its crypto purge will help it fight graft and Ponzi schemes. Further, the government believes that the move will help it ease the ballooning demand for power. Thus, it’ll help its ‘sustainability’ push.

Regardless of the reasons for the ban, the crypto industry in China is staring at oblivion. Renowned crypto investors such as Houbi and Binance have closed shop in mainland China. They’ve moved their operations to crypto-friendly destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

This post was last modified on October 17, 2021 12:26 pm

Edith Muthoni

Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and cryptocurrency investments.

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