e-CNY transactions in China hit $14 billion so far in 2022

abdelaziz Fathi

China had more than 360 million e-CNY – also known as the digital yuan – transactions, with a total volume topping 100 billion yuan (US$13.9 billion) as of October 10, People Bank of China (PBoC) said on its official WeChat.

digital yuan

A total of 5.6 million commercial outlets across the country now accept digital yuan as a payment option, the central bank added. However, the growth figure was relatively modest when compared to the virtual currency’s transaction volume for the entirety of 2021, which reached 87.6 billion yuan (US$13 billion).

Even though the e-CNY is now the most widely adopted CBDC in the world, the transaction volume grew by only 14 percent from a year earlier.

The PBOC said it will continue to expand the scope of its pilot programs, develop more trial scenarios, and bolster international cooperation for the digital yuan.

“Multiple e-government service platforms have opened digital renminbi payment services, supporting online and offline channels to handle various public utility payments, using digital renminbi to issue tax rebate funds, special funds for monthly medical insurance payment, funds for helping people in need, and ‘specialized, special and new’ enterprise support funds, etc.”

China’s central bank has called for the orderly expansion of the scope of the digital yuan pilot through interconnectivity with traditional e-payment tools to make its use-case scenarios more convenient for customers.

Quoted by the government-run China.org.cn news portal, Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said regulations and standards in areas such as digital identities, Bluetooth, and QR codes should be unified to improve the interconnectivity of various types of payment tools.

The deputy governor added that the scope of the digital yuan pilot will be expanded at an orderly pace. He also elaborated on improving the security of digital yuan use via upgrading relevant technologies to avoid user-information leakage and eliminate data security risks.

This isn’t the first time the People’s Bank of China has mentioned the expansion of the digital yuan pilot program this year. In another a major leap forward for the e-CNY, Chinese authorities broadened the range of public services included in its pilot project.

Two cities in Zhejiang province — Guanzhou and Ningbo — have begun experimenting with the digital RMB for paying for public bus tickets and subway rides. Passengers can now use this form of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to pay for public transportation on 10 bus routes and 125 metro stations through the digital yuan app.

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