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February 26, 2021

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Payment firms, banks ink deals on pushing e-yuan

Payment firms have signed agreements with banks over the e-yuan, a key step for China’s adoption of an official digital currency.

Shanghai-based Huifu has signed cooperation agreements with “several domestic banks” related to digital currency or e-yuan services. With such cooperation, e-yuan will be fully accepted online and offline in future, the fintech firm suggested.

A local bank official, who declined to be named, confirmed that the bank is cooperating with several payment firms on e-yuan.

In tandem with the People’s Bank of China, six top state-owned commercial banks are taking part in a digital currency testing program across the country, according to media reports.

Currently, China’s e-yuan is being trialed in cities like Beijing and Suzhou. It’s also being tested on a very limited scale in Shanghai in several banks, hospitals and self-service machines.

The cooperation between banks and payment firms will complete the e-yuan industry chain, covering security encryption and certification, banks’ IT architecture, online payment gateways and payment terminals support such as POS and ATM machines. It’s a key step for China to adopt digital currency in future.

At that time, “tens of millions” of small and micro merchants across the country, served by Huifu’s payment service, can support the use of e-yuan in various ways, including scan-code payment, the company said.

One of leading payment service providers in China, Huifu provides services to nearly tens of millions merchants, as well as nearly 10,000 industry customers in aviation, health, education, logistics, retail, funds, industrial and cross-border e-commerce industries.

It’s still not clear whether Alibaba and Tencent’s payment services are included in such cooperation on e-yuan. In the long term, experts say e-yuan is another option for normal consumers besides AliPay and WeChat Pay.


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