The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China has announced the expansion of testing of the central bank’s national Digital Currency/Electronic Payment system (DCEP) for large commercial transactions. Testing will cover all levels of industries, including hospitality and e-commerce payment processing.
According to DeCrypt, the current initiative will complement recent plans to involve residents in Hebei, Yangtze Delta, Guangdong, and selected cities in the Midwest in testing the digital yuan.
The first to participate in the program will be the city of Suzhou. According to local media outlets, DCEPs will be tested in retail, e-commerce, and education as part of commercial transactions. Replenishment of transit cards with digital yuan will also be verified.
A similar expansion of the program in Shenzhen has also been reported. Customers in some convenience stores have confirmed that DCEP will be available to pay for goods.
According to the source, some disagreements persist between the Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Bank of China over the implementation of the digital yuan, which could affect the timing of its launch. The domestic debate is focused on creating incentives for consumers to switch from Alipay and WeChat.
Both departments are considering user feedback to improve the platform experience.
“We will accelerate and pour more attention and resources to expand DCEP’s use cases into the broader economy as per the guidance from the Ministry of Commerce and the PBoC,” a spokesperson for DCEP is quoted as saying. “The technical conditions are ripe and the risks are under control.”