The Banque de France is to work with eight firms in testing applications for a central bank digital currency interbank settlements.
The central bank issued a call for applications in April.
Eight applicants have been shortlisted for the test phase - Accenture, Euroclear, HSBC, Iznes, LiquidShare, ProsperUS, Seba Bank and Societe Generale - Forge.
Experiments proposed by the successful applicants will allow (i) exploring new ways of exchanging financial instruments (excluding crypto-assets) for central bank money, (ii) testing the settlement in central bank digital currency in order to improve executing conditions for cross-border payments and (iii) revising the arrangements for making central bank money available.
Banque de France states: “The lessons learnt from these experiments will be a direct contribution to the more global reflection conducted by the Eurosystem on the value of a CBDC.”
In May, The Banque de France conducted its first experiment with Societe Generale to test the use of a blockchain platform to settle a transaction with a central bank digital currency.
SocGen said the effort demonstrates the feasibility of financial securities being digitally settled and delivered in CBDC for interbank settlements.
Eventually, the technology could help boost automation and shorten payment processes, simplifying market infrastructures and strengthening security.