Canadians could soon be using a government-backed digital currency, dubbed MintChip, to make in-store point-of-sale purchases.
The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled plans for MintChip in 2012 as it sought to bring the benefits of cash into the digital age, providing users with instant, private, secure, and fee-free access to their money.
The Mint hopes that eventually Canadians will use a 'chip' to load value onto a device such as a smartphone, PC, tablet, or store it in the cloud, and then buy physical goods in the real world or digital content online.
Back in 2012, software developers were invited to take part in a challenge - won by a mobile wallet app - on how to bring the MintChip idea to market.
Now the concept is being taken a step further thanks to the work of POS terminal giant Ingenico, which has been working on a proof-of-concept that will let people make in-store payments using the currency.
The Mint will show off the technology at the National Retail Federation's Annual Convention and Expo this week, demonstrating how retailers can accept cash digitally at any Ingenico POS device.
According to The Star, Mint staffers will then test the system at the organisation's cafeterias, with third party pilots slated for later in the year.