Chinese social media platform Wechat has introduced support for the state-backed digital yuan to its popular payment app. Over one billion users will now seemingly be able to take advantage of fast payments with the digital currency issued by the People’s Bank of China.
Wechat Pay follows Alipay in integrating digital yuan payments
China’s largest social network and messenger, Wechat, has added the digital currency of China’s central bank (CBDC) to its payment app, Wechat Pay, with its latest update, local publication The Paper reported.
More than 1.2 billion users will have access to the new feature and will be able to spend digital yuan (e-CNY) to pay for goods, services and utility bills in some widgets with more use cases planned for the future, including the launch of direct transactions between Wechat users.
About 750 million people use Wechat Pay daily. According to a Global Times report, e-CNY payments are currently limited to 2,000 yuan per transaction (close to $290) and there is a daily limit of 5,000 yuan (just over $700).
Owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, Wechat Pay becomes the second major payment system in China to introduce support for the digital yuan after Alibaba Group’s Alipay platform integrates the e-CNY wallet in December 2022.
The Chinese government has been actively promoting its digital currency with trials in over two dozen cities and provinces and more than 5.5 million participating merchants and other businesses. Data released late last year showed that the volume of e-CNY payments exceeded 13.5 billion yuan.
Use cases also grow, but in September the People’s Bank of China called for deeper integration of the new currency with electronic payment providers. And in December, a former head of research at the central bank was cited stating that digital yuan trials have produced disappointing results in terms of usage and activity.
Do you expect other payment platforms to integrate digital yuan in the near future? Let us know in the comments section below.
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