Shanghai Tongren Hospital Trials Use of China’s First Digital Renminbi “Smart Card”


A leading hospital in Shanghai has seen the launch of a new “smart card” that serves as a physical vessel for the digital renminbi.

Since 5 January workers at Tongren Hospital have been able to use the smart card (可视卡) as a “hard wallet” for the digital renminbi, to purchase food and beverages at the staff canteen simply by tapping it against the payments terminal.

The smart card, which was developed in conjunction with the Postal Savings Bank of China, contains a small electronic display that shows payment sums, the remaining balance, as well as the number of times the card has been used for offline payments.

A key feature of China’s digital renminbi is the ability for transactions to be completed between electronic devices that are both offline by means of near field communications (NFC) technology. This sets its aside from existing digital payments methods in China, which are dependent upon Internet connections.

According to state-owned media the smart card in use at Tongren Hospital is the first “hard wallet” in China which is not in the form of a smart phone.

The release of the card follows the launch of trials at the end of 2020 for the use of the digital renminbi to pay for transit fares on the Beijing metro system, by means of wearable devices equipped with NFC.

Video courtesy of The Paper of the digital renminbi smart card in use at Tongren Hospital

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