CaixaBank Selected by ECB to Collaborate in Prototyping Digital Euro

The European Central Bank (ECB) has selected CaixaBank and four other organizations to collaborate in the development “a prototype of a digital euro.”

The institution launched a call with the aim of “selecting entities to develop technology projects associated with the creation of the European digital currency.”

CaixaBank, the only European bank selected for the project and “will be responsible for producing a prototype for peer-to-peer (P2P) online payments using the digital euro.”

Starting September and until the end of this year, CaixaBank will be “developing a mobile application that simulates the steps individuals will need to transfer digital euros to their account and/or transfer digital euros to other individuals.”

CaixaBank‘s extensive experience and leadership in the field of innovation and payment methods, as well as the quality of its services, internal capacity to develop such projects and its market coverage, “have been some of the key aspects considered by the ECB during the selection process.”

In April this year, the ECB launched “a call for payment service providers, banks and other relevant market participants to unite and engage in the creation of prototypes for digital euro payment services aimed at customers.” Fifty-four companies responded, “spanning from banks to multinational technology companies.”

In addition to CaixaBank, the other four companies selected for this stage will “produce prototypes for other user interfaces of the digital euro, such as offline P2P payments, POS payments (including specific processes based on whether they are initiated by the business or the customer) and e-commerce payments.”

The ECB is currently “investigating how a digital euro could look like.” If a digital euro should be issued, it would “not replace cash or other existing payment methods, but instead complement them by becoming another payment option, thus contributing to advancing financial inclusion and accessibility.”

Technology and innovation are “crucial” for CaixaBank.

With more than 11 million users of its digital banking service – the largest customer base in the Spanish financial sector – the bank “works on a daily basis towards developing new models that are able to meet the requirements and the needs of its customers and that bring its products, services and financial culture closer to all citizens.”

CaixaBank claims it is one of the leading banks in payment methods “with a 32.1% market share in retailer turnover, and more than 3 million clients of mobile payments.”

Today, CaixaBank has in its digital banking app CaixaBankNow, “the option of mobile payments, integrated in a wide service range for payment management.”

CaixaBankNow has iOS and Android versions and it is also “compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and FitBit Pay.”

CaixaBank is also the first Spanish bank “compatible with Swatch Pay, allowing payments with Swatch’s analogical watches.”

The financial institution “boasts its own technology subsidiary, CaixaBank Tech, and multidisciplinary teams that transfer innovation to all areas across the organisation.”

As part of its digitization process, it has “launched various projects underpinning blockchain technology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, among others.”

These technologies are used “to provide CaixaBank’s financial advisers with additional and better resources to advise their customers, drive the customization of its commercial offering, with the aim of improving customer loyalty, develop new financial services and streamline the decision-making process.”

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