News and resources on payments systems, innovations and initiatives worldwide.

Banks in Kazakhstan roll out CBDC card services

Source: OpenWay

In just 6 months after Kazakhstan launched the digital tenge, its Central Bank Digital Currency, over 10 innovative CBDC card services have become available to the country's population of 20 million.

Altyn Bank, Eurasian Bank and Halyk Bank leveraged the Way4 digital payments software system to swiftly join this CBDC project and onboard 72% of early adopters of digital tenge cards. The digital tenge footprint is expanding, with 36 new use cases in its roadmap for 2024 and 2025, according to Kazakhstan's National Payment Corporation.

Bank customers in Kazakhstan can apply for virtual and plastic CBDC cards and use them for both in-store and e-commerce purchases across Mastercard and Visa global networks. Additionally, they can withdraw cash at ATMs, link their cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, monitor their CBDC card balance and transaction history through mobile banking; and access other related services.

More than 130 countries are actively researching or implementing CBDC. While most CBDC transactions are conducted through web and mobile interfaces, the digital tenge project offers consumers a tangible instrument for CBDC payments.

Kazakhstan's Digital Tenge project is pursuing several ambitious goals. These include intensifying cross-border trade, launching innovative social and anti-corruption initiatives, and enabling integration between CBDC and non-government DeFi platforms. Way4 powers card issuing and acquiring innovations for many members of the digital tenge ecosystem: Kazakhstan's National Payment Corporation, Eurasian Bank, Altyn Bank, Halyk Bank, and national postal service Kazpost. Assisted by their partner OW Kazakhstan, three of these payments players integrated their card processing system with the Digital Tenge platform in less than two months.

The successful integration of CBDC cards into Kazakhstan's payment ecosystem is a testament to the country's forward-thinking approach and the robustness of its banking infrastructure. Many banks here have long used OpenWay's Way4 software system to introduce ground-breaking innovations: for example, the first-ever UnionPay cards issued outside of China and the world's first mobile Visa P2P transfers.

For CBDC issuance and redemption, Kazakhstan's payment regulator selected R3's Corda platform. Supported by Way4, Corda, and other technologies, Kazakhstan is strengthening its position on the international economic stage.

Comments: (0)