Tencent, the Chinese software behemoth, has announced that its WeChat ecosystem would let users make digital yuan payments on applets and video channels. WeChat Pay is a popular Chinese app utilised by the majority of the population. The initiative would enable WeChat users to pay using the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) via in-app applets.
They will also be able to utilise the CBDC to make purchases on e-commerce sites like JD.com without leaving the ecosystem of WeChat. WeChat applets or “mini programmes” are apps (typically built by third parties) that interface with the WeChat ecosystem. This implies that WeChat users may access them without having to quit the app or download and install software on their mobile devices.
Applets may be found in the WeChat interface by name or by scanning QR codes.
They may also complete payments using the app’s e-payment mechanism, WeChat Pay. Early last year, the first stage of WeChat Pay compatibility was carried out. This made it possible for WeChat Pay users to use digital yuan as a payment method while making in-store purchases.
During the testing phase, there was a transaction limit of 2,000 yuan ($289 at the time). The daily maximum was 5,000 yuan (about $720). It spanned around 15 provinces and activated tens of millions of digital yuan wallets. Several Chinese media publications have suggested that the speed of the digital yuan pilot has “accelerated” this year. The token is presently used in 26 areas (including several large cities) throughout 17 provinces.
According to an official WeChat release, users will now be able to link their digital yuan wallets to the app to conduct applet and video-related payments. Meanwhile, merchants must guarantee that they have the necessary software to accept digital CNY payments. Accounts at “any digital yuan wallet operator” might be utilised to make payments, according to WeChat.
This includes, according to the company, its own neo-banking subsidiary, WeBank.
If you pay on WeChat, you can use the digital yuan for transactions with merchants that support [the coin] in video account and mini program-related scenarios.
China has made significant efforts to broaden and speed up payment channels for the digital yuan. Alipay stated in December 2022 that it has linked to the digital yuan app, positioning itself as a fast payment alternative for Alibaba’s e-commerce sites. This enabled users to purchase items and services on various sites using the CBDC. While there are many more consumers to draw in, the CBDC in China is still expanding.