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The country's central bank fears that refusing cash in favor of digital payments may ultimately lead to a loss of confidence in physical money, which will lead to the further alienation of those who are not familiar with electronic payments.
In China, electronic payments from Alipay, owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group or WeChat from Tencent Holding, have become quite popular among consumers who use them to pay for public transport, as well as in large and small retail chains.
The fact that electronic payments are convenient for both buyers and sellers has led some suppliers in Beijing and Shanghai to stop accepting physical cash.
Loss of confidence in cash
In a message on its official WeChat account, the People's Bank of China emphasized the fact that electronic payments should not completely replace physical currency, stating:
“Electronic payments have given us a new method of payment, but it should not replace cash payments. Over time, this practice may become second nature, and people may lose confidence in money. ”
The Bank also noted that electronic payments are unfair to older people and those who live in underdeveloped parts of the country, since it may be difficult to master the processes necessary for making electronic payments.
The Central Bank of China has also criticized how local authorities used slogans such as a "cashless city" to promote the technological achievements of their city.