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Chinese initiative pilots NFC mobile ID for elementary school students

A new NFC mobile ID initiative in China is enabling elementary school students to make payments and provide proof of ID using special NFC mobile devices.

Students attending Hainan Lu Xun Middle School in Sanya, China are the first in the country to trial a digital yuan mobile wallet device that enables them to make payments to designated merchants on and off campus. The device supports payments using China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and also acts as a means to verify their identity using NFC.

According to a report from NFCW, the mobile device is called the Super SIM Hard Wallet, and is a small, handheld device that resembles a smartphone. The device does enable students to make and receive phone calls from selected numbers, including those of trusted family members and emergency services.

Parents can transfer yuan to their child’s mobile device from their digital yuan wallet app and set transaction limits. Parents can also monitor expenditure over time and track their child’s location via the device’s on board GPS capability.

The Super SIM Hard Wallet was developed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as part of a partnership with mobile network operators in the region including China Mobile. The initiative is also a practical alternative to Chinese regulations that ban the use of conventional smartphones by students on primary and middle school campuses.

A spokesperson for the initiative said: “Parents can not only learn about their children’s consumption through the digital smart student ID card at any time, but also transfer their children’s living expenses conveniently and quickly to achieve a win-win situation for the school, parents and students.”

The People’s Bank of China began piloting digital yuan wallets in January 2021 and a number of other Chinese banks have since released hardware prototypes that support the digital currency.

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