Spanish banks to pilot digital euro for contactless in-store payments 

Front of Deutsche Bank building in Spain
DIGITAL EURO: Deutsche Bank in Spain is one of 30 banks and service providers involved in the trials

Some 30 banks and payment services providers in Spain, including BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, ING, Deutsche Bank and Iberpay, have set up a working group to test the use of a digital euro for contactless in-store payments as well as ecommerce transactions and peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers.

The working group will conduct proof-of-concept trials of the retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) to assess the technical, operational and business implications of its implementation and how it might coexist with currently existing digital payment infrastructures.

“The project aims to test the inclusion of a possible digital euro in the current payment ecosystem, promoting innovation, and doing so in line with the objectives of the euro system,” Spanish business news outlet Diario Abierto reports.

“The tests will cover the simulated sending of digital euros person to person, payment in online commerce and payment in physical commerce, based on a model in which, as is the case with the current euro, the banks would be the depositories of the accounts of this digital currency of their customers.

“The initiative arises after the beginning of a research phase by the euro system on the possible characteristics of the digital euro as a means of payment complementary to cash in retail payments made in euros.”

In addition to BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, ING, Deutsche Bank and Iberpay, banks and payment services providers participating in the trials include Abanca, Arquia, Banca March, Banca Pueyo, Banco Caminos, Banco Mediolanum, Bankinter, Bizum, Caixa Guissona, Caixa Ontinyent, Caja d’Enginyers, Cajalmendralejo, Cecabank, Eurocaja Rural, EVO Banco, Grupo Caja Rural, Grupo Cajamar, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Laboral Kutxa, N26, Openbank, Orange Bank, Redsys, Targobank and Unicaja Banco.

The European Central Bank announced in September that it is to trial five prototype digital euro payment solutions developed in partnership with Spain-based CaixaBank, the European Payments Initiative, Worldline, Nexi and Amazon.

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