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The European Central Bank has revealed its selected partners to collaborate on the digital currency prototype.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced the selection of five new partners to support the development of its digital euro prototype.

Each company has a different role in building the prototype. Among them is Amazon, a technology giant responsible for developing e-commerce payments within the project. 

Spanish bank CaixaBank is developing online peer-to-peer payments for mobile applications, while French multinational payment service Worldline is responsible for the offline version.

POS payments for payers and payees are in the hands of his ECB-backed European Payment Initiative and Italian paytech firm Nexi, respectively. 

The ECB launched a call for proposals for partners in late April and received five responses from national banks and multinational technology companies.

5 selected service providers were chosen based on meeting the necessary basic criteria plus beneficial “specific skills”. Prototype Exercise is scheduled to begin in September and end in late December. 

The ECB began investigating a digital euro in July 2021 but made no promises to eventually issue a digital currency. 

digital currency

The purpose of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the technology behind the digital euro integrates into prototypes developed by companies. Simulated transactions are initiated using front-end prototypes developed by five companies and processed through the Eurosystem’s interface and back-end infrastructure. There are no plans to reuse the prototype in the next phase of the Digital European Project. Working with the ECB team, each of the selected companies will focus on a specific digital euro use case. 

  • Payer Initiated POS Payments—EPI;
  • Payee Initiated POS Payments—Nexi;
  • Ecommerce Payments—Amazon. 
  • peer-to-peer online payments – CaixaBank;
  • peer-to-peer offline payments – Worldline;

All five companies fulfilled the set of “must have capabilities” outlined in the tender, but the five vendors selected were the best fit for the “specific capabilities” required for their assigned use cases. The ECB welcomes broad interest in prototyping work.

The prototyping exercise is a key component of his two-year research phase during the ongoing Digital Euro project. It is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, when the ECB will also announce its results.

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