​​JCB, IDEMIA, Soft Space to launch CBDC pilot

  • Having been widely tested, the CBDC is expected to be accepted by consumers, merchants
  • Payment system to be developed by late 2022 & tested on merchants till March 2023 

​​JCB, IDEMIA, Soft Space to launch CBDC pilotJapan’s international payment brand JCB Co Ltd (JCB) has launched the JCB Digital Currency (JCBDC) pilot project with identity technologies firm, IDEMIA and fintech company Soft Space Sdn Bhd.

In a statement, IDEMIA said the JCBDC pilot will develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) payment solution and conduct a pilot test with Tokyo merchants.

The firm said over the past few years, central banks in many countries and regions have been testing CBDCs that should soon be widely accepted by consumers and merchants. 

However, merchants might be reluctant to accept them, and mass-market rollout may be held up by people without smartphones, like children and the elderly, who could find the user interfaces and payment systems hugely challenging, it said.

JCB will have CBDC acceptance tested using existing JCB Contactless – JCB’s EMV based contactless payment, merchants, POS terminals and plastic card-based user interfaces, with guidance from IDEMIA and Soft Space.

JCB, IDEMIA and Soft Space said they will conclude payment system development by late 2022 and conduct the pilot test with Tokyo merchants until March 2023.

Koremitsu Sannomiya, board member, senior executive officer of JCB said, “This project proves that we can use existing payment acceptance hardware for new CBDC payment systems, which is a huge benefit for both consumers and merchants.”

Meanwhile, Romain Zanolo, IDEMIA’s managing director APAC Financial Institutions said, “We’re proud that our ability to innovate has enabled CBDC payments with existing card and POS terminal hardware.

“IDEMIA’s, JCB’s and Soft Space’s joint payment system expertise will usher in worldwide CBDC growth,” he added.

Soft Space’s chief executive officer, Joel Tay said the company is thrilled to be first in the world to trial CBDC acceptance on SoftPOS alongside its partners JCB and IDEMIA. 

“Although CBDCs are still in their infancy, this pilot takes us forward from theory to reality, by harnessing our in-store payment experience and existing payment platform expertise.” 

Disclaimer: Soft Space and Digital News Asia has a common investor. All editorials remain independent.


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