China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, has taken flight with a new pilot program that allows Chinese business travelers to pay for their flight tickets using the CBDC.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China and China Merchants Bank have teamed up to create a digital yuan platform according to a local report. This platform aims to offer convenience and new services for travelers in the aviation network.

Furthermore, the platform will simplify transactions for companies and entrepreneurs when purchasing business air tickets. Notably, passengers can now enjoy the added convenience of using the digital yuan for their payments, streamlining their travel experiences.

China Travel Service Embraces the Digital Yuan

China Travel Service, a travel firm based in Suzhou, has already embraced the new digital yuan platform. The company has begun using the platform to purchase flight tickets for its clients. This further promotes the adoption of the CBDC in the aviation industry.

Expanding Use Cases and Collaboration in the Aviation Industry

An image of digital payment

The official launch event of the platform, which took place on July 18, saw the Civil Aviation Administration and China Merchants Bank encouraging more use cases for the CBDC. The two entities announced their commitment to further collaboration. Furthermore, exploring the application in various aspects of the civil aviation industry.

This move demonstrates their determination to drive innovation and seamless integration of the digital yuan.

Widespread Adoption in China’s Transportation Network

The People’s Bank of China has been actively advocating for the use of the digital payments in China’s transportation network. Notably, Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport announced a successful cargo-related digital yuan initiative in 2022, paving the way for more widespread adoption within the aviation sector.

Furthermore, efforts to make digital payments more accessible and convenient have resulted in significant upgrades across different transport modes. Railway networks, light rail connections, and metro systems within the CBDC’s pilot zone have been optimized to facilitate seamless payments even in areas with limited power or network connections.

Moreover, bus routes within the zone now support digital payments. Additionally, highway toll booths within the pilot zone have begun accepting the digital yuan as a payment method, further encouraging its use.

Rapid Expansion and Growing Adoption

The city of Shenzhen has witnessed an impressive surge in digital yuan wallet openings. With nearly 36 million wallets now in use, over seven million new wallets were created in 2023 alone. This rapid expansion reflects China’s determination to transform its economy by promoting widespread adoption in diverse sectors.

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