BNP Paribas, Bank of China Link Arms to Promote E-Yuan

(Yicai Global) May 5 — French banking group BNP Paribas is joining hands with state-owned Bank of China to take part in the digital Chinese yuan’s pilot program.

The Chinese branch of BNP Paribas will launch a digital yuan platform linked with BOC’s system to provide corporate clients with a range of services, including opening and managing e-yuan wallets and converting and using the digital currency, BNP Paribas said via WeChat yesterday.

BNP Paribas China and BOC will jointly explore the application of offline digital yuan payments, supply chain finance, public services, and the innovative application of the currency in smart contracts and cross-border payments and settlements, BOC added.

The tie-up can supplement BNP Paribas’ offline payment collection capabilities and optimize its clients’ account structure, said Lai Changgeng, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas China.

Foreign banks that join the e-yuan pilot can offer more tools to overseas financial users in cross-border payments, bringing new opportunities for the yuan’s internationalization, The Paper reported yesterday, citing Pan Helin, co-chair of the Digital Economics and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University’s International Business School.

The digital yuan will become popular overseas because of the Chinese government’s high credit assurance, Pan added, noting that it will also achieve a strong global position as more people will be using it.

China started the digital yuan pilot program in 2019 and launched an official e-yuan app in January last year. More than 5.6 million stores nationwide had accepted payments in digital yuan as of last August, with total transactions exceeding CNY100 billion (USD14.5 billion), according to data from the People’s Bank of China.

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