China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), also known as the Digital Yuan (e-CNY) has dominated Visa, the United States electronic payment card in patronage at the winter Olympics in Beijing as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The winter Olympics this year is sponsored by China and the game is currently being hosted at the country’s capital city, Beijing.
The Visa card for many years has been a prominent sponsor, as well as the first-choice payment medium at the Olympic games, but not in this season. The global payment channel finds itself sharing the limelight with the Digital Yuan currency this year.
China for many years has taken the lead in making payments digital, with great assistance from well-known internet providers, Alipay and WeChat. As a result, there has been a massive adoption of digitized means of payments in the nation, hence making the use of banknotes fizzle out. A matter that has become an issue of concern for the Chinese central bank.
Formerly at the world’s supreme sports competition, the only accepted forms of payments were cash and Visa cards. The use of cash reduced drastically at the close of the 2004 Olympics which was held in Athens. This made the electronic card, Visa gain prominence afterward.
Recanting the Preference for CBDC
Events have taken a new turn at this year’s Olympic games. The e-CNY digital medium of payment has gained an obvious preference both by the home-based athletes as well as the foreign sportsmen that are competing at the Olympics. The nation’s supreme leader, Xi Jinping is one of the prominent drivers of digital currency to date.
The virtual currency is currently being accepted at all the ticket outlets in the stadium as authorized by the Chinese government through the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). Also, there are ATMs that allow spectators to exchange foreign money for the Digital Yuan.
Whether or not this poses a threat to the business survival of Visa in the Asian nation remains unclear, however, that the Chinese government is not cracking down on private payment channels is a good news for Visa, as it can always innovate at subsequent games. However, the use of the Yuan Digital money has raised questions from the United States, a high-profile member of the US Senate has advised that the Chinese e-CNY’s circulation be monitored closely.
Countries are intensifying efforts to develop their CBDCs, and with China taking the lead, the possibility that a global standard as recommended by the Bank of Japan may take the lead in the coming month