As the pilot program for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, takes off, Chinese business travelers will reportedly be able to pay for flight tickets using the new currency.
A collaboration between China Merchants Bank, a commercial banking firm and the Civil Aviation Administration led to the introduction of an e-CNY platform, aiming to facilitate transactions for travelers in the aviation network, the China civil aviation news agency said in a report.
According to the agency, the newly introduced platform enables companies and entrepreneurs to utilize the digital yuan for convenient payment of business air tickets. Additionally, passengers will have the opportunity to utilize the digital currency to access new services via this platform.
China Travel Service, a travel firm based in Suzhou, has already made use of the platform to purchase tickets on behalf of its clients, the report said.
At the inauguration event marking the platform’s official launch, on July 18, both the Civil Aviation Administration and China Merchants Bank called for more use cases for the digital yuan and said they would collaborate in exploring the digital yuan’s application in diverse areas of the civil aviation industry.
According to the report, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank, has been actively encouraging the use of the digital yuan in China’s transportation network. Notably, Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport announced their partnership for a cargo-related digital yuan initiative in 2022.
Likewise, in line with the digital yuan’s integration efforts, railway networks, light rail connections and metro systems in the pilot zone have been upgraded to facilitate seamless digital yuan payments, independent of power or network connections. Furthermore, bus routes within the zone now also accommodate digital yuan payments from passengers. Also, earlier this year, several highway toll booths within the pilot zone started accepting the digital yuan as a payment method.
Remarkably, the city of Shenzhen disclosed that nearly 36 million digital yuan wallets have been opened by its residents and more than seven million new wallets have been created since the start of this year. This ongoing growth of the CBDC pilot program across diverse sectors reflects China’s determination to transform its economy by fostering widespread adoption of the digital yuan.