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Bank of China Expands Digital Yuan Testing to SIM Cards and NFC Payments


The state-owned financial institution Bank of China has revealed a partnership with China Unicom and China Telecom in order to test SIM cards and near-field communication (NFC) payments tethered to the renminbi. The Bank of China explains that the pilot will be tested by selected users and areas and it currently only supports Android phones.

China Taking Digital Yuan Usage to SIM Cards and Contactless Transactions

China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the “e-CNY,” otherwise known as the digital yuan or renminbi continues to see infrastructure growth. On July 10, the Bank of China announced that the country’s CBDC is being tested with SIM cards and NFC payments. Presently, the testing is being rolled out to select users and it will be gradually promoted in “selected pilot areas in the near future.”

The Bank of China reveals it has partnered with China Unicom and China Telecom in order to streamline the digital yuan toward “unlocking new capabilities.” The SIM card hardware wallet is referred to as a “hardware wallet” by the state-owned financial institution. “Digital renminbi users only need to install the SIM card issued by the telecommunications operator on their phones, log in to the Digital Renminbi app, and activate the SIM card hardware wallet,” the Bank of China explains in a press release.

The bank added:

During the usage of the digital renminbi SIM card hardware wallet, the balance is shared with the main wallet, eliminating the need for separate top-ups and making payments more convenient and user-friendly — The digital renminbi SIM card hardware wallet supports offline payments.

The Bank of China emphasized its commitment to capitalizing on the promotion of SIM card hardware wallets and applications of the digital yuan. The bank said it is set to broaden its e-CNY horizons by examining various practical applications across multiple industries including, but not limited to, rail transportation, everyday consumption, academic settings, online shopping, utility payments, business retail, and educational training. In line with the trend of the Internet of Things (IoT), the bank aims to empower SIM cards in order to target a colossal quantity of IoT gadgets.

Prior to the introduction of the digital yuan in Jinan, China, for public transportation fares, the Shanghai Clearing House also extended its support for the digital currency at the end of June. To date, data shows 11 countries have launched Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and research indicates that 130 countries, accounting for 98% of the world’s gross domestic product, are considering implementing CBDCs. In China, the pilot test of its CBDC reaches a population of 260 million and encompasses a variety of economic scenarios.

What do you think about the Bank of China testing SIM cards and NFC with the digital yuan? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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