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JCB to begin Phase 2 trials of offline CBDC

JCB to begin Phase 2 trials of offline CBDC

Japanese card issuer JCB is moving to Phase 2 of a pilot to trial offline P2P payments for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Phase 1 trials, conducted in partnership with Idemia and Soft Space, entailed the development and testing of a mechanism that enabled merchants to accept CBDC without the need to modify their POS (point of sale) terminals and payment cards.

For Phase 2, customers will be able to transfer CBDC funds from one person to another person using their cards and mobile phones even without Internet connectivity. These offline P2P (peer-to-peer) fund transfers can either be done from one card to another with a mobile NFC device as an intermediary, or from one mobile NFC device to another mobile NFC device directly.

The pilot will see Idemia and Soft Space provide the tokenization back-end server, mobile wallet application, card application and SoftPOS kit, as well as all necessary APIs and SDKs for system and application integration purposes.

Joel Tay, chief executive of Soft Space, says: “We are delighted that phase one of the project has been successful, leveraging on existing technologies that JCB already utilises, such as its contactless EMV technologies and Tap on Mobile SoftPOS. In phase two, we will also evaluate host card emulation (HCE) and various other offline scenarios we are developing with JCB to further develop more real-life use cases aimed at ensuring that the eventual CBDC solution we implement will be of practical use in society.”

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