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China Will Permit Foreign Nationals To Utilize International Banking Cards

by GO ON
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In an effort to boost foreign tourist arrivals and greatly improve the experience of foreigners in the country, the Chinese government recently updated the e-CNY digital wallet application, which allows visitors to open an account using a Visa or Mastercard bank account.

The e-CNY digital wallet is the official application for managing the digital form of renminbi – otherwise known as the Central Bank of China (CBDC) digital currency or digital yuan. The e-CNY system is still in the pilot phase, the date of its nationwide introduction has not been determined, but the long-term goal is to replace the paper yuan.

As part of an ongoing effort to improve the usability of e-CNY, China has introduced several new features. These updates focus on making e-CNY more accessible and convenient for local and foreign users. The e-CNY app is easily available for IOS users through the Apple Store and for Android users through a Chinese app store similar to Google Play. Accessibility ensures that a wide range of smartphone users can take advantage of the potential of e-CNY.

One of the most significant recent updates to the app is specifically for iOS users, allowing them to top up their e-CNY wallet using international cards, including Visa and Mastercard. In addition, foreign visitors can now register on the e-CNY app using their foreign phone numbers, simplifying the process of accessing and using e-CNY.

Another major milestone for digital payments in China was last year when Wech Pay and Alipay (owned by tech giants Tencent and Alibaba respectively) opened up account registration to anyone with a Visa or MasterCard bank account. People making short-term visits to China’s major cities can thus easily navigate a society that is now largely cashless. Limitations on per capita payments with Chinese bank accounts have been a major issue plaguing tourism, business and academic travel.

As of last June, the e-CNY app had recorded 950 million transactions worth a total of 1.8 trillion yuan ($343.4 billion), according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The e-CNY system is a pillar of the Chinese government’s vision of a world-leading digital economy – also known as the Digital China plan. In addition to increasing the efficiency of the real economy for Chinese citizens, the strategy aims to accelerate China’s global influence through technological prowess.

In addition to the current e-CNY trial program, which now includes 23 cities and five provinces, China hopes that the adoption of its CBDC in cross-border transactions will one day support its currency abroad on a wider scale.

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