European Central Bank picks five partners for digital euro initiative

    The European Central Bank (ECB) has selected five companies – out of 54 applicants – to collaborate with for the development of potential user interfaces for the digital euro.


    ECB investigates the digital euro potential

    The selection is a result of the call of expressions of interest for the prototyping exercise issued by the ECB in April this year. Whilst all of the hopefuls fulfil a number of “essential capabilities” that were outlined in the call, the bank explains, the five providers chosen best matched the “specific capabilities” required for the assigned use case.

    The aim of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the technology behind a digital euro integrates with prototypes developed by companies. Simulated transactions will be initiated using the front-end prototypes developed by the five companies and processed through the Eurosystem’s interface and back-end infrastructure.

    However, the ECB specifies that there are no plans to re-use the prototypes in the subsequent phases of the digital euro project.

    Each of the five firms will focus on one specific use case:

    • CaixaBank – peer-to-peer (P2P) online payments;
    • Worldline – P2P offline payments;
    • EPI – point of sale (POS) payments initiated by the payer;
    • Nexi – POS payments initiated by the payee;
    • Amazon – e-commerce payments.

    The prototyping exercise is part of the ongoing two-year investigation phase of the digital euro project and is scheduled for completion in Q1 2023. The findings will be then made public by the ECB.

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