Numerous central Chinese banks have opened up applications for picked individuals to activate digital yuan wallets, which is being read as another sign of progress in the country’s rollout of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Six of the country’s leading state-owned banks are inviting applications from users in Shanghai and Beijing, unlike in prior trials, which have been invite-only or relied on lottery-style draws for participation, according to state media reports.
The progress is being seen as a widening of the digital currency’s scope of trials, following successful regional pilots across the country. The latest stage will see digital wallets offered in Shanghai by banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Postal Savings Bank of China, and Bank of Communications.
Local media outlets announced that at least three commercial banks involved in the latest phase would also open to Beijing individuals.
While the application process has been opened to the public, individuals must be approved for the trial to participate. Participation is confirmed by an SMS message sent within 24 hours of the application, which comes with instructions on downloading and activating the digital yuan wallet.
To take part, users will be required to provide their full real names, phone numbers, email, and ID details, submitted via a QR code submission.
According to an official at the Postal Bank of China in Beijing, the application and onboarding process is expected to get smoother as more people sign up to participate: “Although the application criteria have not loosened up, we’ve opened it up to the public so the process is less restrictive than before. As the review process goes digital, the speed of getting applications approved will be much faster later on.”
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