China-based messenger app WeChat has announced that it has expanded digital yuan payments to its short video and mini-app platforms.
This update is an extension of the e-CNY payments option that WeChat has already supported since early 2022. The move is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to boost the adoption of the digital yuan, which forms part of the country’s monetary base, M0.
While the central bank has set up a network of e-CNY payment gateways across China, WeChat Pay, and its rival Alipay are still some of the country’s most ubiquitous digital payment methods.
The expansion of e-CNY payments will only be available for merchants that accept digital currency, according to WeChat’s announcement. The regulator has clarified that the digital yuan is not intended to compete with the two payments giants but to play a complementary role. For instance, it could support anonymity for small-value transactions like physical cash.
Alternatively, e-CNY could prevent corruption when transferring large sums of money from a provincial government to a town due to the digital currency’s traceability features.
To use e-CNY on WeChat, users need to link their real-name verified central bank wallet to WeChat Pay, which will verify their identities. During checkout, they will be directed to WeChat Pay, now linked to their bank accounts and digital yuan wallets, making the payment process seamless.
The extension of digital yuan payments to WeChat’s short video and mini-app platforms is expected to provide more use cases for the central bank digital currency and contribute to its adoption.
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