China continues expanding the scope of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) by debuting digital yuan payments for transport services.
According to an official Wednesday announcement, the Beijing subway has launched a pilot program enabling passengers to access 24 subway lines and four suburban railway stations using the digital yuan, also known as e-CNY.
The new service is only available for customers witb a bank account at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a major bank involved in China’s CBDC tests. “You need to download a mobile app that is linked with your bank account to access the service,” a spokesperson for the Beijing rail transit network reportedly said.
The announcement notes that Beijing rail transit service providers will continue promoting diverse applications of the digital yuan in order to optimize the “new digital travel experience.”
The news comes shortly after Suzhou, a city in East China’s Jiangsu province, launched a similar digital yuan integration on Tuesday. According to a report by Sina Finance, Suzhou was the first city in China to start accepting e-CNY payments for subway rides.
Beijing has become a major spot for China’s digital yuan trials, housing a wide number of e-CNY integrations and related initiatives.
As of mid-June, Beijing hosted more than 3,000 digital yuan-enabled ATMs, allowing the public to deposit and withdraw the digital currency. Previously, the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration announced an initiative to distribute $6.2 million in digital yuan to Beijing residents.