All bus lines in Jinan, China, now allow payment in the digital yuan, marking a major step towards digitization. The city intends to encourage its use by giving discounts to patrons who use the central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Shunwang-Jinan Daily (via e23) reports that Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong province and home to over 9.2 million people, has changed the software and card scanners across the whole bus system to allow users to pay using the Chinese CBDC.
The digital yuan payment system was first tested on two of the busiest lines in the city, B52 and BRT5, with positive results. As a consequence, Jinan has chosen to make digital yuan payment choices accessible to all of its network’s buses.
The city has declared that consumers who pay for their bus journeys with the digital yuan would get discounts in order to encourage greater use. The CBDC charges less than $0.01 for journeys that cost 2 yuan or less (about $0.28). A decreased discount of less than $0.01 will be given when the fare is more than 2 yuan.
Passengers may use this discount up to twice daily and six times per month during the promotional period (exact length is unknown).
This action by Jinan is consistent with China’s growing emphasis on integrating digital money into a variety of transportation systems. Jiangmen, a city in Guangdong Province, stated in May that it was updating its bus system to support digital yuan payments. Similar intentions to try digital yuan payments without a network connection or power supply were made public by Qingdao last month.
Overground trains in China are adopting digital yuan payment options as the Asian Games draw near in September. Additionally, since early this year, highway toll booths close to the trial zones have begun taking digital yuan.
China’s dedication to promoting the CBDC and expediting the country’s transition to a cashless society is shown in the growing use of digital yuan as a payment mechanism in public transportation.