In contrast to the UK, where the likes of Apple Pay effectively digitalise an existing bank card, these digital wallets do not use debit or credit cards to function, and instead largely use smartphone apps linked to bank accounts, and QR codes. While contactless and smartphone payments are increasingly common in the UK since Apple Pay arrived on these shores half a decade ago, the government at the moment is currently more concerned about physical cash disappearing than digitalising. Digital spending is expected to become more common following the coronavirus pandemic, with the government encouraging businesses and people to use contactless payments wherever possible. One shop which participated in the trial told the state-controlled international broadcaster CGTN that ‘around 10 people a day’ were using the digital version of China’s currency to pay for things in store. In the same week the British Treasury announced new proposals to help maintain access to physical cash, around 50,000 people in China were handed 200 digital yuan, around £23, each. ‘While cash remains critical for many shoppers, the increasing ubiquity of contactless and digital payment options on the British high street will lead to widespread adoption that will last throughout the pandemic and beyond,’ it told This is Money.
Alipay had 1.2billion users and handled ¥106trillion, or £12trillion in payments last year, while the two together had close to 2billion users in 2018. A report earlier this year by Worldpay found 48 per cent of physical payments, twice the proportion made globally, were made using eWallets, while 71 per cent of online payments were made this way. The 2.6 per cent of applicants selected by lottery were given a ‘red packet’ of 200 yuan each through a state-run mobile app which could be spent in just under 3,400 shops in a district of the city by scanning a QR code. Exchange from your local currency to 10+ different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Its Even Easier With The App
Worldpay’s Shane Happach called the announcement ‘interesting’ but said ‘the majority of UK consumers are not yet in a place where we will see immediate large scale usage of digital currencies’. The involvement of the likes of the Bank of England would make them different from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which are not run by any central authority. ‘China’s payment system has evolved into a framework based on non-bank payment platforms and QR codes…in sharp contrast to the Western, bank-centric, card-based model,’ Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institute wrote in April this year.
But as well as a short-term attempt at jump-starting the economy, the trial is just the latest step in China’s attempt to digitalise its currency, something it has been working on for six years. The giveaway was designed to stimulate consumer spending to aid China’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Because you buy crypto using the money in your Skrill account, you first need to upload the fiat currency you want to convert.
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The use of Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay is an increasingly familiar sight in the UK, with close to a fifth of adults registering to use these digital wallets last year. The trial in Shenzhen, visited last week by Chinese president Xi Jinping, is not being run through either of China’s tech titans, but by the Chinese government itself. Users who have an account with one of China’s four biggest banks can link it to the app and add it to AdvCash trade their personal digit wallet – another app on most smart phones. The DCEP – simply a digital version of the Chinese renminbi – has already been used in 3.13million transactions worth ¥1.09billion or £125million through previous pilots this year across four cities including Shenzhen. The DCEP, or Digital Currency Electronic Payment, is the name for the digital version of yuan the Chinese government has been working on for the last four years.
Those looking to spend using the app could also do this without needing access to the internet for the system to work. When you enter how much you wish to spend, Skrill will automatically calculate the amount you receive based on this rate.
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There are over 100 ways to deposit, including with your card, bank details and various alternative payment methods. In March the Bank of England launched a discussion paper on a ‘Central Bank Digital Currency’, which could effectively digitalise UK banknotes and could ‘allow households and businesses to make fast, efficient and reliable payments’. But consumer behaviour continues to evolve, with the pandemic meaning existing trends of more digital payments and fewer physical ones have only sped up, for better and for worse. But usage in China is already far more widespread, and the country leads the world in smartphone payments.
Mobile payments have become so dominant in fact that the country’s central bank was forced two years’ ago to tell shops that it was illegal for them to reject the use of cash. There have been ‘various incentives’ behind the development of the DCEP, Klein added, with the attempt by the Chinese government to muscle in on the territory of Ant and Tencent potentially due to a digital currency leaving it better able to keep an eye on the spending of its citizens. Alipay and WeChat Pay allow users to make payments from a bank account with a Chinese commercial bank by scanning a QR code – these are also digital but do not come under the DCEP as they’re private AdvCash legit companies, albeit publicly listed. Much in the way the UK government handed out ‘helicopter money’ to those eating out to help out in August, China’s version last week had the dual objective of pumping some cash into the economy while also encouraging citizens to spend digitally using their smart phones. Worldpay estimated that by 2023 over a third of online payments will be made using digital wallets, while PayPal said there had also been a growing interest ‘in new technology’. Some 10 per cent of UK consumers surveyed by market research firm Forrester said they’d used a smartphone to make an in store payment for the first time during the pandemic.
More misery for savers as inflation surges to 2.5% in June Alarm bells will be sounding for savers today following news that inflation surged to its highest rate in 3 years. The Bank, along with six other central banks including the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve, revisited the subject a fortnight ago. In China’s largest cities, more than 90 per cent of people use the two apps as their main way of paying, while they are also used to send money to others.
- In China’s largest cities, more than 90 per cent of people use the two apps as their main way of paying, while they are also used to send money to others.
- Those looking to spend using the app could also do this without needing access to the internet for the system to work.
- ‘China’s payment system has evolved into a framework based on non-bank payment platforms and QR codes…in sharp contrast to the Western, bank-centric, card-based model,’ Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institute wrote in April this year.
- Digital spending is expected to become more common following the coronavirus pandemic, with the government encouraging businesses and people to use contactless payments wherever possible.