The Beijing Winter Olympics is giving Visa Inc. a run for its money.

Digital Yuan
Digital Yuan

The mass adoption of digital payments in the world’s most populous nation has made the use of physical cash virtually obsolete a trend that has alarmed China’s central bank, which has been conducting small-scale rollout trials for its digitized legal tender since late 2019. At previous Olympics, cash and Visa cards were the only two permitted forms of payment, though the former diminished in usage at the sporting venues after the 2004 Olympics in Athens, according to people familiar with the matter, with nearly all payments having moved to Visa.