The e-CNY wallet is a new way to store and use Chinese Yuan. With this wallet, you can load money onto your phone or electronic device and use it to make purchases anywhere that accepts electronic payments. The e-CNY wallet is convenient and easy to use, and it offers a number of advantages over traditional methods of payment. For example, you can use the e-CNY wallet to make purchases online or in person, without having to carry around cash or coins. In addition, the e-CNY wallet is more secure than carrying around cash, as it uses encryption to protect your personal information.
Recent trends in China highlight the convergence of digital currency and super apps in potential public/private partnerships. Coco Feng reports on the expanding e-CNY program in China and new uses with super apps Alipay and WeChat:
“Alipay, operated by financial technology giant Ant Group, announced on Thursday that its app has added a button that enables users to search for and download the official e-CNY wallet within its platform. By opening an account using the same phone number associated with Alipay, users can make purchases with e-CNY on the app.
WeChat Pay, operated by Tencent Holdings, last month set up a similar e-CNY wallet function on its app, about three months after it adopted digital yuan as a payment option. The mobile payments platform, part of multipurpose super app WeChat, had about 900 million users at the end of December.”
The sheer scale of opportunity in China and the scaled rollout of e-CNY may provide a blueprint for other countries who have yet to develop firm plans for central bank supported digital currency, but the move to digital currency could develop regulatory hurdles, especially cross-border.
“China’s sovereign digital currency roll-out, however, has raised suspicion about Beijing’s intent. Robert Greene, a former senior adviser to the US Department of Treasury, published an article last July that said one potential function of the e-CNY was to skirt US financial sanctions.”
As the technological and regulatory issues continue to evolve, China appears set to maintain its deliberate rollout of new features and geographic expansion for e-CNY, including an upcoming launch in Hong Kong that could offer a window into the concerns regarding financial sanctions.
Overview by Jordan Hirschfield, Director of Research at Mercator Advisory Group