The new mobile top-up feature enables foreigners in China to use their overseas SIM cards to open an e-yuan wallet and recharge it with their bank cards or cash before making a payment.
The new feature, launched in the Chinese e-yuan app on Sept. 22, is intended to make the payment service safer and more convenient for foreigne users with a top-up service available in their e-yuan wallets before making payments.
Foreigners can use their overseas SIM cards to register and open an e-yuan wallet. To top it up, they can use their Visa or Mastercard cards or load cash at bank branches. Although access to the e-yuan for foreigners was available since the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, in the previous app version, foreigners could top-up their wallets only when making transactions. Now, the top-up convenience for foreigners is just the same as for local citizens.
Any pre-loaded remaining balance can be transferred back to the bank card. Besides, the new update also simplifies and speeds up the payment process, enhancing payment efficiency and removing the wait for foreign card verification at stores.
Except for using the e-yuan app, foreigners can apply for digital yuan hard wallets for their daily payments. It can be used at offline stores and online platforms that support e-yuan, including ride-hailing giant Didi, online services provider Meituan, online travel agencies Ctrip and Qunar, and e-commerce behemoth JD.Com.
In July 2023, a year and a half after the launch of the CBDC in China, the total volume of transactions using digital yuan exceeded the $250 billion mark.