Digital RMB is accepted in a payment during an expo in Suzhou, Jiangsu province in October, 2021. [Photo by Yang Haishi/For China Daily]

China has expanded its pilot areas for digital RMB or e-CNY from 10+1 to 23 in 15 provinces so far this year, the People’s Daily reported on Wednesday.

As of May 31, these pilot areas had made a total of around 264 million digital yuan transactions with a value of about 83 billion yuan ($12.31 billion). Business entities that open e-CNY service have reached 4.57 million in the country.

At present, e-CNY has been available for people in many scenarios both online and offline such as purchasing electricity, shopping and services including medical care, education, traveling, taxpaying and loan borrowing.

Compared with physical currencies, digital RMB has the characteristics of lower cost, higher payment efficiency, wider application scenarios, higher anti-fake levels and is safer, said Dong Ximiao, chief researcher at Merchants Union Consumer Finance Co Ltd.

Dong said digital RMB has facilitated the country’s development of digital economy. As it is more widely used, the digital currency will play a bigger role in improving payment efficiency and financial service inclusiveness.

China will continue to expand pilot areas and rev up the building of application scenarios and innovation for e-CNY, according to the central bank.

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