The promotion of digital renminbi accelerates banks and Internet giants to reignite the payment battle

A QR code scans all scenarios, and it is more and more possible to realize the payment of the whole ecology with one App.

The fierce red envelope war many years ago is now making a comeback with the accelerated promotion of the digital renminbi.

On January 4, the digital RMB (pilot version) App was launched in major application markets, setting off a wave of experience craze. Shortly after its launch, the digital RMB app topped the free app download rankings in the Apple App Store. Within a few days, the number of users of the digital RMB wallet pushed by Meituan increased by nearly 20 times per day, and the number of users on increased by more than 10 times.

At the same time, the contest between the big manufacturers is also unfolding. On January 5, Meituan announced the opening of a digital RMB payment channel for food delivery scenarios; on January 6, Tencent announced that it would officially provide users with digital RMB services, and users could open a WeBank (WeChat Pay) digital RMB wallet; on January 7, announced the realization of digital renminbi full-scene coverage.

This is only a technical layout. In the past year or so, and Meituan have participated in more than ten digital RMB red envelope activities, but WeChat and Alipay are rarely seen in these activities.

As a national-level payment tool, the two giants that rely on QR codes to create a “Chinese miracle” have made the outside world speculate that the digital renminbi today is about to be subverted.

Red envelope rain reappears

On January 5, announced that it will join hands with the 2022 Year of the Tiger CCTV Spring Festival Gala to distribute 1.5 billion yuan of red envelopes and goodies.

It is not surprising that held hands with the Spring Festival Gala this time. In 2021, “” and “red envelopes” will frequently appear in the public eye. As an early company that joined the digital renminbi pilot, is the most active Internet giant in the digital renminbi red envelope activity.

Two months after the digital RMB public beta was first launched in Luohu, Shenzhen in October 2020, participated in the “Double 12 Suzhou Shopping Festival” digital RMB red envelope event in December 2020.

Since then, has successively participated in digital RMB red envelope activities in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and other places, and launched the “Shanghai Soviet Union Movement” digital RMB red envelope JD special event in August and September 2021 respectively, and then launched in November 2021. “Double 11” digital RMB red envelope activities in 11 pilot areas.

According to the statistics of “Lianxin”, as of the end of 2021, has participated in 8 digital RMB red envelope activities, with six major commercial banks (Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, Agricultural Bank of China, Postal Savings Bank, hereinafter referred to as “” The “Big Six”) participated in the same number of times.

In addition, has also explored a large number of digital renminbi application scenarios. On January 7, announced the realization of digital renminbi full-scenario coverage. Online and offline scenarios such as App, Financial App, Jingxi App, and Qixian Supermarket have all been connected to digital renminbi. Prior to this, also conducted pilot projects such as digital RMB salary payment and inter-enterprise payment.

According to data, as of December 31, 2021, more than 2 million digital RMB sub-wallets have been pushed to the App, and more than 1 million users have used digital RMB to spend 3 million transactions, with a cumulative amount exceeding 200 million yuan.

Another Internet company that joined the digital RMB red envelope campaign was Meituan, but it was 9 months later than

In September 2021, Meituan launched a low-carbon cycling digital RMB red envelope campaign for nine pilot areas including Chengdu. As a latecomer, Meituan has innovated the gameplay and launched the concept of “low carbon”. From the “low carbon cycling” at the beginning, it has expanded to the later ordering of takeaways without disposable tableware, and prepared green bags when shopping. Wait.

The promotion method of Meituan’s “low carbon” concept combined with the digital renminbi has not only won praise from official agencies such as the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, but also has been recognized by ordinary users. At the 21st Century Asian Financial Annual Conference on November 3, 2021, Meituan Vice President Bao Ta said that since the launch of the digital renminbi pilot program in Meituan, more than 1 million users have opened digital renminbi personal wallets and actively used digital renminbi. Green travel.

There are also major banks actively participating in the red envelope war.

Since the public beta of the digital RMB, the six major banks have invested a lot of manpower, material resources and funds to seize the opportunity, and the distribution of digital RMB red envelopes is undoubtedly the most eye-catching promotion method.

According to the incomplete statistics of “Lianxin”, as of the end of 2021, the total amount of red envelopes issued in 11 pilot regions across the country exceeded 370 million yuan. Behind the rounds of red envelopes that have been launched in various places, several major commercial banks are secretly competing.

According to the statistics of “Lianxin”, in the issuance of digital RMB red envelopes, the Bank of China participated the most times, 12 times, and the other five major banks participated 7 times or 8 times.

Commercial banks must rely on scenarios to promote digital renminbi. Therefore, major banks have opened up new consumption scenarios one after another. Themes that are close to users’ lives, such as food, reading, fitness, anti-epidemic, and the Spring Festival, have also appeared in the promotion activities of major banks.

According to The Paper, as of June 30, 2021, the achievements of ICBC and China Construction Bank are the most outstanding among the six major banks. The digital RMB personal wallets and public wallets opened by the two together account for the entire country. More than half of the number, while the transaction value of CCB digital renminbi accounts for 54.8% of the national total.

However, other banks are also catching up. “Lianxin” found that among the 25 new application scenarios of digital renminbi that were publicly reported in the past two months, Bank of China accounted for 7 cases, Bank of Communications accounted for 8 cases, and the two accounted for the total number of cases. More than half, while ICBC and CCB have 3 cases and 1 case respectively.

Pay for new battles

Surprisingly, Tencent and Alipay, as payment giants, were very low-key in the promotion of digital renminbi and were absent from the red envelope battle. In fact, both Tencent and Alipay have been involved in the research and development of digital renminbi for a long time.

In April 2021, Tencent disclosed that it has been deeply involved in the digital RMB project since February 2018, providing all-round support for the implementation of the digital RMB project. In May 2021, in the “May 5 Happy Shopping” event in Shanghai, Alipay’s MYbank officially became the digital RMB operating agency.

Mu Changchun, director of the Central Bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute, once interpreted the relationship between digital renminbi and WeChat and Alipay. He said that WeChat, Alipay and digital renminbi are not in the same dimension.

He said that WeChat and Alipay are financial infrastructure and wallets, while digital renminbi is a payment tool and the content of the wallet. In the electronic payment scenario, the wallets of WeChat and Alipay contain the deposit currency of commercial banks. After the issuance of digital renminbi, you can still use WeChat and Alipay to pay, but the content of the wallet has increased the central bank’s digital renminbi. At the same time, the respective commercial banks of Tencent and Ant are also operating agencies, and there is no competition with the digital renminbi.

However, it is indeed inevitable that the digital renminbi will invade the base camp of WeChat and Alipay.

The reason is unity.

As traditional Internet giants, WeChat and Alipay have each spent years building ecological barriers. A report released by iResearch in 2020 shows that in the third-party mobile payment transaction volume, Alipay and WeChat payment have a combined market share of more than 90%.

People have long been accustomed to opening Alipay when they buy things on Taobao. When you enter the WeChat store, you consciously choose WeChat payment.

In such a scenario, until WeChat and Alipay announced that they would charge a handling fee for cash withdrawals, people were reluctant, but they had no choice but to choose not to withdraw cash or to withdraw less cash, and to spend the change in their wallets with Alipay and WeChat as much as possible.

But the payment industry is becoming more and more open, and this trend cannot be avoided. The emergence of digital renminbi wallets reinforces this trend. A QR code scans all scenarios, and it is more and more possible to realize the payment of the whole ecology with one App.

Yu Jianing, the rotating chairman of the Blockchain Special Committee of the China Communications Industry Association, told Lianxin that the launch of the digital renminbi is conducive to the diversification of payment methods and the reconstruction of the retail payment market. Third-party payment institutions such as WeChat and Alipay set up various payment barriers in the actual use process, which brings many problems and risks to users and merchants in their financial management. The digital renminbi is a digital form of legal tender issued by the People’s Bank of China.

For ordinary users, one of the most obvious manifestations may be the elimination of the trouble of withdrawal fees. For merchants, the cost of payment channels is also likely to drop significantly as a result.

Yu Jianing said that’s advantages in the digital renminbi competition are mainly concentrated in B-side services and applications. These B-side-based service ecological construction is’s advantages in the digital renminbi field and a new opportunity for business development. However, Alipay and WeChat Pay have accumulated a large number of users in the field of mobile payment. As MYbank and WeBank become operators of digital RMB, due to payment habits and user stickiness, it is expected to gain more obvious benefits on the B side in the future. Advantage.

Scene is everything

On the evening of December 31, 2021, the “2022 Shenzhen New Year Happy Shopping” was officially launched. The six major banks released the content of the digital RMB promotional activities during the New Year’s Day and the Spring Festival, and a total of 25 million digital RMB will be distributed to citizens.

Different from the previous distribution of red envelopes upon registration, this event places more emphasis on consumption scenarios, and major commercial banks have launched differentiated consumption scenarios. Promotional activities are also shifting from increasing registered users to enriching consumption scenarios to increase user stickiness.

According to Caijing, due to the more urgent promotion of digital renminbi by commercial banks, the relationship between commercial banks and scene agencies has even undergone subtle changes. During the process of cooperation, Party A has become Party B unknowingly, and the scene agencies are in the process of cooperation. In the process of cooperation with commercial banks, it has become stronger, and commercial banks need to upgrade or completely replace the original POS machines, and the costs are completely borne by themselves.

For banks, the digital renminbi itself may not bring much direct benefits. After all, the major profits of banks are still deposits and loans and credit cards. However, the application scenarios of digital renminbi are becoming more and more abundant, which is indeed very important for banks.

On the one hand, the increase in the application scenarios of digital renminbi will make digital renminbi more and more close to the application scenarios of traditional physical bank cards, and more people will choose digital renminbi wallets to reduce the risks and use costs of physical cards.

On the other hand, in the card-opening payment process, the maintenance and management of the digital renminbi in the back-end is more transparent, which also reduces the pressure on the bank.

Li Lihui, head of the blockchain research group of the China Internet Finance Association and former president of the Bank of China, said that in the promotion of digital renminbi, the influence of competition factors is greater than policy factors. The digital renminbi has the advantages of administrative authority and the technical advantages of off-net transactions, and will become the most important and fastest-growing payment tool in the retail market. Only by increasing investment and actively creating and expanding the application scenarios of digital renminbi can commercial banks reach more reach customers.

At present, the profit model of banks and commercial institutions based on digital renminbi is still unclear. However, the consensus is that digital renminbi will trigger new changes in the retail payment market, and the relationship between banks, payment institutions, Internet platforms and customers will be reconstructed. Whether it is a scenario service provider such as and Meituan, or a traditional commercial bank or WeChat and Alipay, the digital renminbi is both an opportunity and a challenge.

Yu Jianing said that for traditional banks, the traditional offline cash business will be impacted, but in the process of mobile payment, digital renminbi will help them skip the traffic portals such as WeChat and Alipay, and go directly to the scene end to become the direct flow of traffic. Entrance. Traditional banks need to use Internet thinking to apply digital renminbi, revitalize traffic and data, and promote their own business upgrades and the development of digital finance.

On January 4, the digital RMB (pilot version) App was launched in major mobile application markets, setting off a wave of experience craze. The digital renminbi has become more popular, and no invitation is required. Ordinary users in the 11 pilot areas can download and apply for use for free.

According to Mu Changchun, director of the Central Bank’s Digital Research Institute, as of October 22, 2021, 140 million digital RMB personal wallets and 10 million corporate wallets have been opened, with a cumulative transaction volume of 150 million and a transaction volume of nearly 62 billion. The application scenarios have covered various aspects such as public utilities, catering services, transportation, shopping and government affairs.

With the steady progress of the pilot work, the number of pilot areas for digital renminbi will gradually increase, and the application scenarios will become more and more abundant.

For retail users, there will be more and more opportunities to be asked in the future: WeChat, Alipay, or digital RMB?

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