Digital Renminbi Trials Expand to Include China’s Municipal and Rural Commercial Banks


China’s smaller regional lenders are set to join the big state-owned banks in participating in trials for the use of the country’s new central bank digital currency, also known as the digital renminbi.

City Commercial Banks Clearing Company (城银清算) and the Rural Credit Bank Funds Clearing Centre (农银清算) – the two key organisations for settlement by municipal commercial and rural commercial banks, both announced the launch of “one point integration” (一点接入) digital renminbi systems on 13 August.

The move marks the start of the inclusion of a greater number of smaller lenders such as municipal commercial banks, rural commercial banks and rural village financial institutions into digital renminbi trials, and their integration with the “Digital Renminbi Interconnection Platform” (数字人民币互联互通平台).

City Commercial Banks Clearing teamed up with Bank of Nanjing on 12 August to work on integration with the platform, and support linking cards to digital renminbi wallets as well as undertaking related transactions.

City Commercial Banks Clearing said it would work with the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) Digital Currency Research Institute to integrate other municipal banks with the platform, including Bank of Shanghai, Bank of Jiangsu, Bank of Hangzhou, Bank of Ningbo, Bank of Luzhou, Bank of Chongqing, Bank of Qingdao, Bank of Xi’an, Bank of Changsha and Huarong Xiangjiang Bank.

A total of 24 municipal commercial banks are confirmed as having integrated with the platform as of 12 August, while another 94 banks, including 76 municipal commercial banks, 15 privately operated banks and 3 foreign invested banks, have announced their intentions to connect with the platform via City Commercial Banks Clearing.

City Commercial Banks Clearing executed a strategic cooperative agreement with PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute on 28 September 2020, to engage in further cooperation on digital renminbi application projects.

On 13 August Rural Credit Bank Funds Clearing said that it had successfully launched its “one point-connect” digital renminbi system, with Hebei Rural Credit customers using the system to complete verifications for digital renminbi app transactions.

As of the afternoon of 13 August Hebei Rural Credit customers had used its digital renminbi app to connect personal wallets to bank cards on 169 occasions, as well as make 65 transfers worth 1,099.84 yuan in total.