ECB selects Nexi and Worldline to develop payments solution for digital euro

Friday 16 September 2022 15:11 CET | News

The European Central Bank has chosen paytechs Nexi and Worldline to develop a front-end prototype for making payments with digital euros. 

Nexi: digital euro payments at physical shops.

Nexi reportedly joined the call for expression of interest launched in April 2022 by the ECB as part of the digital euro investigation phase. Nexi has been appointed as one of the five companies, out of 54 respondents to the call, to provide front-end prototypes to test different payment use cases.

A multi-disciplinary pool of Nexi experts is set work closely with the European Central Bank digital euro project team to explore a front-end technical solution for digital euro payments at physical shops.

As the largest European spender in technology and innovation in the digital payments sector, with about 300 million euros of investments, Nexi promises to boost the European Central Bank project for the digital euro, with plans to improve the overall efficiency of the retail payments system.

The European Central Bank has chosen Italian paytechs Nexi and Worldline to develop a front-end prototype for making payments with digital euros.


Worldline: peer-to-peer offline payments

Worldline has been selected for the specific use case ‘peer-to-peer offline payments’ of a digital euro, which focuses on the payment between individuals.
Worldline aims to build a digital wallet supporting the physical storage of funds that can be transferred without connectivity. 

Worldline is sharing the common goal of the ECB and its partners and intends to contribute to strategic  projects such as the digital euro. Its entire corporate product portfolio can be leveraged to deliver pilots and facilitate a successful CBDC roll-out, according to the company individual press release.

The digital euro: timelines and recent milestones

The digital euro is envisioned to be a fully digitized CBDC version of the euro currency. Similar to otber central bank digital currencies such as the ones already piloted in China or India, the digital euro will not be replacing cash and euro banknotes, aiming to circulate in the financial system at the same time.

As Coingeek explains, ‘the digital euro will empower Europe’s central bank domestically, giving it the power to directly stimulate the economy through direct money drops to wallets holders, it will also empower the EU geopolitically.’

Following the experimentation work done by the ECB and the euro area national central banks, in July 2021 the ECB launched the investigation phase of the digital euro project. This phase aims to identify the optimal design of a digital euro and ensure it meets the needs of its users. During this phase the central bank is also set to analyse how financial intermediaries could provide front-end services that build on a digital euro (the phase in which the work done with Nexi and Worldline also falls in). 

This phase will see its end in October 2023, when the Governing Council will decide whether to move to the next phase, in which the ECB hopes to see the development of integrated services as well as carry out testing and possible live experimentation of a digital euro. This phase is estimated to take around three years.

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Keywords: digital euro, CBDC, central bank, P2P payments, ecommerce
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: European Central Bank, Nexi , Worldline
Countries: Europe
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Banking & Fintech

European Central Bank





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