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JCB to pilot central bank digital currency payments on contactless cards

Japan-based payments network JCB is to run an in-store central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot that uses existing contactless payment cards, point of sale (POS) hardware and softPOS payment acceptance technology installed on mobile devices.

JCB logo

The pilot — known as JCB Digital Currency or JCBDC — will develop a CBDC payment acceptance solution that uses the payment network’s current contactless infrastructure and will test the solution in “a demonstration experiment” with participating merchants in Tokyo.

“Although CBDCs are still in their infancy, this pilot takes a forward leap, from theory to reality, by harnessing  in-store payment experience and existing payment platform expertise,” says Soft Space, the payments platform collaborating on the project with JCB and identity technology provider Idemia.

The partners plan to “have concluded CBDC system development by late 2022 and will conduct pilot CBDC acceptance with Tokyo merchants through March 2023”.

The Digital Currency Forum — a consortium of more than 70 leading banks, financial services providers and other businesses in Japan — announced that it was beginning a series of proof of concept trials of a CBDC across a range of use cases in November 2021.

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