China explores adding digital yuan to social security cards

China aims to integrate its central bank digital currency the digital yuan, with social security cards to create a more efficient and convenient system for managing social security affairs and enabling integrated payments, benefits, and ID functionalities on a single card.

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China intends to integrate its central bank digital currency (CBDC) into its financial system by adding digital yuan payment functions to social security cards. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security reasoned that the idea behind this is to create a more efficient and integrated system for managing social security. This news comes in the aftermath of the social security ministry’s recently released campaign, which aims to digitalise China’s social security management by 2027.

According to a banking industry insider interviewed by ThePaper, a Chinese digital newspaper, by integrating the digital yuan with the social security card, more use cases of the social security card can be developed, which can facilitate greater convenience for people. Additionally, authorities have the potential to implement more efficient governance by utilising China’s digital yuan. Chinese officials stated that adding digital yuan payment features to the cards would improve the currency’s usability and simplify the process for Chinese state organisations by integrating payments to the state, benefits payouts, and ID functionality into a single card.

The social security card in China serves as a certificate for individuals to manage their social security affairs, including pension disbursement, unemployment registration, and medical insurance settlement.