JD.com to accept China’s digital yuan
Chinese ecommerce platform JD.com will become the first online retailer to accept digital yuan as part of a pilot by the country’s central bank.
The People’s Bank of China will issue 20m yuan ($3m) in a digital format to citizens to trial the viability of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Residents in Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai and one of the country’s biggest manufacturing hubs, will be allocated the digital yuan through a lottery system via Suzhoudao, the city’s public services app. Around 100,000 virtual ‘red packets’ will be issued containing the currency which must be spent by 27 December.
The currency can be spent at thousands of local merchants, as well as on select products on the JD.com online shopping website.
No launch in sight
China’s central bank terms its initiative the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), a currency that differs from other cryptocurrency and stablecoins in that it is a direct digital analogue of the physical fiat yuan: controlled and issued by the central bank.
The scheme follows a trial in October earlier this year in the Shenzen region. Around 50,000 residents were each given 200 yuan to spend locally through an app. More than a billion DCEP transactions have been trialled across the country in the past 12 months, including as payment for government services, utility bills and public transport.
No official date has yet been announced for the full rollout of the digital yuan, though global brands including McDonalds and Starbucks have signed up to take part in further trials. Other pilot schemes are planned to take place during the Winter Olympics 2022.
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG