New RMB Coins in 2019
I think it really says something that it wasn’t until the last week of 2019 that I even noticed that there are new 1-RMB coins in circulation (I knew about the bills).
What does it say? Well, with mobile payments becoming the new norm in China (at least in big cities), a lot of us just don’t handle much cash anymore (especially coins).
My family just recently visited me in Shanghai, and it was rather surprising for them how “cash-less” meant “mobile payments only,” and foreign credit cards remained largely unusable. The easiest way to get money, by far, was to withdraw RMB in cash from ATMs using American debit cards. (Adding a foreign credit card to AliPay is still early and somewhat unverified.)
What I don’t understand about these RMB coins, though, is the size. Why make them smaller?? It seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I guess it saves on metal, and with fewer and fewer coins actually being used every day, maybe it’s finally the right time…