by Jamie Redman, Bitcoin:
In mid-May, a report stemming from residents in Shenzhen, China explained that the digital yuan wasn’t seeing widespread participation, which the Chinese government has alluded to in many press releases. Now a handful of China’s state-owned banks have asked staff to recruit 200 to 300 digital yuan users. The banks are also giving away small presents in order to tempt the customers into leveraging the central bank digital currency (CBDC) wallet.
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Chinese Banks Are Now Luring Customers Toward the Digital Yuan
Similar to how banks try to sell services to customers like loans, savings accounts, and investment vehicles, Chinese state-owned banks are telling employees to sell the benefits of the digital yuan. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, alongside five other top financial institutions in the country, are tasking their employees with pushing the CBDC wallet on hundreds of branch customers.
According to a rough translation of the announcement published by shenliancaijing.com, bank employees from each branch have been asked to produce 200-300 CBDC wallet users. “On average, each person needs to promote 200 to 300 people,” the statement says, and employees from each branch can get year-end bonuses. Furthermore, employees can entice people with small presents like tissues, umbrellas, electronics cables, cardholders, and laundry detergent.
Chinese Banks Have Been Told to Recommend Digital Yuan Over Competitors
The push to lure customers to the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) digital yuan follows a handful of state-owned banks in Shanghai being told to promote the CBDC over payment processors like Wechat and Alipay. The “political mandate” Reuters reported back in May, was enforced by six big state banks that were “quietly promoting digital yuan ahead of a May 5 shopping festival.”
At that time, a few Chinese banking officials who were not authorized to speak with the press but still spoke in anonymity, said the six banks followed the mandate to push the digital yuan in Shanghai under the guidance of the PBOC.
“People will realise that digital yuan payment is so convenient that I don’t have to rely on Alipay or Wechat Pay anymore,” the Chinese banking official said.
While the digital yuan wallet is still being tested in various forms, it’s also integrated with apps owned by Didi, Bilibili, Meituan, and JD.com. However, there are no third-party connections between the digital yuan and payment processors like Alipay and Wechat Pay. During the May promotional mandate, a banker told the press the PBOC felt the need to add “information segregation.”
“[The] PBOC doesn’t want to see the money being routed through third-party payment systems,” the banker added.