Singapore’s DBS starts e-CNY bank services for China clients

July 7, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

DBS Group China, a subsidiary of DBS Bank, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, announced that they’re expanding services with the introduction of a new platform that will facilitate transactions in China’s digital yuan, or e-CNY. 

This initiative positions DBS as a pioneer in providing innovative solutions that align with Beijing’s push to broaden the use of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Here’s what we know:

DBS’s new platform enables businesses to receive customer payments in e-CNY. The system automatically settles these transactions, depositing the funds directly into the recipient’s bank account. 

A successful pilot transaction has already been conducted with a Shenzhen-based catering business, signaling the platform’s readiness for wider deployment.

According to Ginger Cheng, CEO of DBS China, the platform is anticipated to drive wider adoption of the e-CNY among Chinese clients, thereby “actively supporting the development of China’s financial market innovation.” 

As of end-2022, the e-CNY had entered circulation in 26 regions across 17 provinces, with a total value of 13.6 billion CNY, as per data from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

This move to embrace China’s digital currency coincides with a period of increased regulatory pressure on cryptocurrency trading and mining within the country. While mainland China has taken a more prohibitive stance, Hong Kong has recently issued new, more accommodating guidelines for cryptocurrency firms.

DBS has also been making strides in the digital asset space. Since 2021, it has offered a crypto custody service for high-net-worth customers, providing storage for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Moreover, in collaboration with JP Morgan, DBS piloted a blockchain-based transaction settlement platform, Project Guardian, in May 2022.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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