The Agricultural Bank of China has launched a pilot program for ATMs, allowing citizens to exchange cash (fiat) for digital yuan (DCEP).
The State Agricultural Bank of China has tested digital yuan at its ATMs in Shenzhen. The ATMs reportedly allow DCEP deposits and withdrawals via a smartphone app and allow users to exchange cash into the central bank of China's digital currency.
China Agricultural Bank is one of the "big four" state-owned banks, which together represent the four largest banking institutions in the world. The bank's manager, Zou Hua, said the launch of the new ATM feature was part of an effort to lead citizens toward the digitization of cash.
As you know, the DCEP-enabled ATM is part of the Chinese central bank's experiment in Shenzhen. As part of the tests, authorities have distributed 100,000 "red envelopes" of 200 digital yuan each, with a total value of about $3 million. Winners must spend the funds by Jan. 17 or they will be invalidated. China bank has also launched an innovation lab to create digital yuan-enabled applications. Currently, the currency can be spent at more than 10,000 stores, restaurants and supermarkets in Shenzhen.
Recall that a huge DCEP test was held in Suzhou in December, where authorities also gave away $3 million in digital yuan. China is considered a pioneer in CBDC. Digital yuan is expected to become a cashless payment method in China's "smart cities" in the coming years.