China’s Central Bank Publishes Digital Yuan Guide for Foreign Visitors

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has published a digital yuan service guide for foreign visitors to help them make contactless payments with e-CNY.

As per a local news report, “Explore the Splendors of China with e-CNY Service Guide for Visitors in China” published by the central bank, international tourists can now pay in digital yuan with accounts linked to their cards via the official mobile app.

Download e-CNY App and Open Digital Yuan Wallet

Available in App Store and Google Play, the “e-CNY” app offers China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) account registration service through local banks as authorized operators.

Though the visitors are unlikely to have an account at any of the Chinese banks like Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) or Bank of China (BOC), they do not need one to open a wallet. The wallet registration also supports phone numbers from over 210 countries and regions.

If opening an anonymous wallet, the user does not need to visit a bank in person, provide passport or other personal information either. For anonymous users, the payment cap per transaction is 2,000 yuan (~$282) and daily accumulated cap is 5,000 (~$705).

Besides the phone number required upon registration, the user just needs to link their Visa or Master cards to the wallet to make a deposit. The central bank also said that they are working on more international card schemes.

Top Up and Pay with Linked Account

To pay with the digital wallet, one must top up with their linked account. The money can be used for online shopping and local vendors that support digital yuan. Unused funds can be simply deposited back to the linked accounts.

“International users can also visit the authorized operator’s bank counters to top up their wallets with RMB banknotes or foreign currency banknotes,” the post reads. “Remaining wallet balance could be exchanged for banknotes at the counter.”

For the users in Hong Kong SAR, the “Faster Payment System” feature is available for topping up the wallets fee-free with Hong Kong banking accounts, including HSBC, Hang Seng Bank (HSB), Standard Charted Bank among other options.

According to the guide, the user can request a conventional card, a card-shaped e-ink wallet, or make mobile payments by scanning or presenting QR codes and tapping like Apple Pay.

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