Oct 12, 2020

China gives $1.4m to locals to test-drive digital currency

China
digital currency
Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Joanna England
2 min
Approximately 50,000 residents of the Luohu district in Shenzhen were given 200 yuan to test China’s new digital currency
Approximately 50,000 residents of the Luohu district in Shenzhen were given 200 yuan to test China’s new digital currency...

Approximately 50,000 residents of the Luohu district in Shenzhen were given 200 yuan to test China’s new digital currency. 

The digital yuan can be accessed through an app-based e-wallet and used in 3,389 retail outlets in the Luohu area until 18 October 2020. The red envelopes were also distributed through iShenzhen – a government-operated blockchain public services app.

The digital yuan, called the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) was first conceptualised six years ago. It is another step in the plan towards eliminating physical currency and making China a cashless society. Xiaochuan Zhou, then Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), founded a Digital Currency Research Institute that focussed on exploring the digital yuan’s potential uses. Since then, several research centres have been established nationwide.

However, the DCEP is different from other digital currencies because it remains another version of China’s existing currency, as opposed to Ripple, Litecoin or Bitcoin, which are unique currencies in their own right. 

To date, more than 1.1 billion DCEP transactions have been piloted across China over the past 12 months, in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan and Chengdu. These test programmes have ranged from usage in government services to bill payments and transportation. 

This most recent currency testing initiative has had China’s leading economists predicting a rise in sales and consumption. Dan Wang, Chief Economist at Hang Seng Bank, explained the ‘multiplier effect,’ saying, “A back-of-the-envelope calculation would suggest that this 10-million-yuan programme will generate at least CNY 50m in total demand.”

He added that the currency enables regulators to have an exact record of where each yuan is spent and will therefore allow for targeted programmes of production to be actioned, thus further improving the economy. 

While there is no official date set for the official launch of the digital yuan, several international companies are taking part in the pilot programme, including Starbucks, Subway and McDonalds. 

Other initiatives have involved incentive schemes based on collectable capsule toys to attract young consumers. 5G compatible payment devices are being used to conduct tests, and as part of an initiative to help citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare workers were also given DCEP payments.

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Jun 16, 2021

Refinitiv webinar: Reimagining banking post-COVID-19

digitalbanking
covid-19
Refinitiv
LondonStockExchangeGroup
2 min
A new webinar from Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business, promises to educate banking on post-COVID challenges, strategies, and opportunities

Currently available as an ‘on demand’ webinar (register to watch here), 'Reimagining Digital Banking: The Implications Post-Pandemic' acts as Refinitiv's guide for the banking industry during a time of unprecedented change.

The company is one of the world’s largest providers of data and infrastructure to the financial services market; at the time of writing, Refinitiv has over 40,000 customers and 400,000 end users spread across 190 countries and generates US$6.25bn in annual revenue.

Its acquisition in early 2021 by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has only served to bolster its organisational strength and boost its services to the trading, banking, investment, wealth, third-party risk, and enterprise data sectors.

Refinitiv’s successful approach combines its open platform with cutting-edge data and leading expertise, granting customers both choice and opportunity. Its vision is driven by a desire to foster:

  • Financial inclusivity
  • Connectivity
  • Efficiency

Digital banking post-COVID

It is in the spirit of this vision that Refinitiv’s one-hour webinar seeks to build equity, create new opportunities, reduce complexity, and drive scale.

Join Steve Peacock, Chief Risk Officer at Think Money; Shana Krishnan, Policy Analyst at FATF; James Mirfin, Global Head of Digital Identity and Financial Crime Propositions at Refinitiv; and Aravind Narayan, Performance Director at Refinitiv, who will tell you how all this can be achieved.

“The world is exploding with digital connectivity,” says the company. “People, organisations, and internet-enabled devices of all kinds are interconnected. Global financial and payments systems face dynamic, persistent and rapidly escalating threats as technological developments in cybercrime make it easier than ever to commit fraud.”

As such, the company will explore the following topics:

  • Changing consumer behaviour and the fastest-growing types of financial crime
  • How COVID-19 is changing the threat of organised crime
  • Banks’ opportunity to realise value and review systems and controls while accelerating digital transformation (i.e. moving away from manual KYC to digital) post-pandemic
  • Strategies that banks can adopt for AML and mitigating fraud risk

Are you prepared for banking post-COVID? What’s your plan for reimagining digital services? Register and watch Refinitiv’s webinar now.

Image source: Refinitiv

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