Digital yuan app adds prepaid Mastercard Visa top-ups for tourists

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Tourists planning to visit the People’s Republic of China can now pre-charge their digital yuan wallets using Visa and Mastercard payment options as the nation continues to update the mobile app powering its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot.

The e-CNY app, which is still in its pilot version, is available to iOS and China-based Google Play Store users. The application serves individual users, allowing them to open digital yuan wallets to use e-CNY.

As per the latest iOS app update published on Sept. 22, version 1.1.1 supports its top-up service with international card options.

The latest version of e-CNY app on the Apple App Store introduces the top-up service for international cards. Source: e-CNY app

According to a number of local Chinese news outlets, the latest version of the e-CNY app coincides with the start of the Asian Games.

A tutorial for foreign users outlining the process of signing up using an international number. Source: e-CNY app.

China has extensively trialed using the digital yuan as a payment option for foreigners visiting the country. According to Yicai, the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 marked the beginning of the CBDC pilot being open for tourists as a means to transact with local merchants using e-CNY.

Inbound tourists are reportedly able to make use of overseas mobile numbers to register and open e-CNY wallets and make use of the recharge wallet feature, which now supports Visa and Mastercard payments.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, China is making moves to ensure that the digital yuan is available as a payment option for all retail payment scenarios. This would make the digital yuan a ubiquitous payment method in China between retail users and merchants. 

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