Authorities have been studying into a soft-launched Digital Yuan wallet that went life briefly late last month – and said they had revealed crucial technical details and possible usage scenarios.
The state-owned China Construction Bank (CCB), one of the largest commercial banks in the world per market capitalization, has been working with the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on the latter’s digital currency pilots.
The CCB, together with three other government-run commercial banks, has been enhancing its digital wallet service for the PBoC’s token.
The CCB’s wallets will provide the PBoC to distribute its token. They will also enable vendors to process digital yuan payments much as end-users currently do with e-pay platforms like Alipay.
Although just late last month, multiple web users in China could access a CCB soft-launched wallet that was only reserved for a controlled sandbox environment.
A few even tested out the wallet’s innovations and transferred funds to their wallets – until the CCB finally pulled the plug, advising customers to be “patient.”
The CCB was even ordered to close down wallets with funds in them – refunding customers through traditional bank transfers.
Nevertheless, the CCB’s apparent gaffe has allowed Chinese experts to look at the wallet closer.
As per report from the People’s Daily, the CCB has since insisted that the wallet was simply a prototype and not evidence that the digital yuan’s launch was imminent.
Despite the fact, the reporters noted that the wallet had “payment, collection, scanning and transfer” functions. They said that it also made use of scannable QR codes and smartphone-based Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology.
The media outlet cited a tech expert at a state-funded R&D center as stating that there was evidence that the wallet would also be usable offline – and needed neither phone network coverage nor WiFi/data attachments to function.
The media outlet stated that there were, in fact, four tiers of digital yuan wallet available in the CCB offering. Each level had a different ceiling for payments, as well as a maximum balance limit. The highest-limit wallet reportedly offered users an ultimate balance of around USD 1,463, with a payment cap of approximately USD 531