European Central Bank to test prototype digital euro payment solutions across key use cases

The European Central Bank (ECB) is to trial five prototype digital euro payment solutions to test how front-end user interfaces and back-end infrastructure can be integrated to enable users to make peer-to-peer, point-of-sale and ecommerce payments with the proposed central bank digital currency.

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The ECB is to test prototype solutions developed in partnership with the European Payments Initiative (EPI), CaixaBank, payment services providers Worldline and Nexi and retail giant Amazon that will simulate the steps users need to take in order to complete digital Euro transactions, the central bank has announced.

Each company will develop a prototype user interface for one specific use case, with CaixaBank focusing on online peer-to-peer payments, Worldline on offline peer-to-peer payments, EPI on point-of-sale payments initiated by the payer, Nexi on point-of-sale payments initiated by the payee and Amazon on ecommerce payments.

“The aim of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the technology behind a digital euro integrates with prototypes developed by companies,” the ECB says.

“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.

“There are no plans to re-use the prototypes in the subsequent phases of the digital euro project.”

The prototype tests are “expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 when the ECB will also publish its findings”.

The ECB launched the two-year investigation phase of its digital euro project in July 2021.

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