Despite a growing list of countries developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), China has managed to maintain its lead in front of the pack. This was highlighted over the past week through product demonstrations and strategic partnerships.
In a few short months, Beijing will play host to the 2022 winter Olympics. What better stage to launch its newly developed CBDC (digital yuan) than this? In anticipation of the event, the People’s Bank of China has been hard at work promoting its digital yuan (most recently through demonstrating the use of smart devices embedded with payment chips).
Wearable smart devices have always been an intriguing bit of technology, but often lacked use cases. As they have clearly become a mainstay, this is rapidly changing though. These devices, which range from bracelets to watches, and more, will allow for users to preload their device with digital yuan, and use them to seamlessly pay for goods and services.
The goal of integrating digital payments in to wearable devices is a simple one – the more flexible and wide reaching their access is, the quicker adoption of the digital yuan will occur. For the digital yuan to truly replace traditional FIAT, service providers and merchants must eliminate the NEED for it altogether. If all goes well, the plethora of payment methods set to be on display at the coming Olympics should paint a clear picture of what CBDCs will look like in the coming years.
The Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) has its work cut out for it in its mission to make the digital yuan the standard. Not only will it need to convince the general public of its merits, it will need to compete with existing digital payment methods on offer from industry giants like AliPay and WeChat Pay. Thankfully for the PBoC, and those already in favour of the digital yuan, service providers are hard at work developing solutions to support it as soon as possible. To this end, digital wallet creator Union Smart has partnered with IDEX Biometrics, with plans to integrate the latter’s identification and authentication tech in to its own services.
This partnership is particularly noteworthy on the CBDC front, as the Union Smart digital wallet is slated to be used by 6 banks within the nation. It was built with the goal of providing access to the digital yuan for those that do not have smartphones, ensuring a higher rate of financial inclusion.
“The central bank intends to provide inclusive, easy-to-use, digital central bank currency for all people, and this product will be particularly effective in serving the needs of those in rural areas and underserved groups…Our new Cold Wallet Visual Payment Card is the most complete and easy-to-use cold wallet solution available.” – Jiang Kai, CEO of Union Smart