Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the nation's scientific research agency CSIRO are tesing the use of blockchain technology to help citizens manage payments made to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In the NDIS, participants have individualised plans that can contain multiple budget categories - each with different spending rules.
The prototype app helps users to manage their plan by enabling them to find, book and pay for services from NDIS service providers without the need for paperwork or receipts.
The proof-of-concept, which includes support from The Reserve Bank of Australia and the country's New Payments Platform, is aiming to test the concept of 'smart money', which applies an NPP integrated digital token programmed to determine what it can be spent on, who it can be spent by and when it can be spent.
Sophie Gilder, head of experimentation and blockchain, Innovation Lab, CBA, says: “Programmable money represents an opportunity to re-envisage how we think about money and how payments function across the economy."
The NDIS was selected as the first case study for the proof of concept, as it involves highly personalised payment conditions.
Gilder says CBA and CSIRO will release a co-authored 'Making Money Smart' report in November, which will examine the design benefits and limitations of the blockchain based system for the NDIS use case, including user feedback and recommendations on future applications.