Visa Partners With ConsenSys To Pilot CBDC Program
Visa has teamed up with blockchain software company ConsenSys to launch a platform for central banks to test retail applications for the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) that they might issue.
According to Catherine Gu, Visa’s head of CBDC, the platform aims to provide an “on-ramp for CBDC to exisiting payment networks”.
“If successful, CBDC could expand access to financial services and make government disbursements more efficient, targeted and secure – that’s an attractive proposition for policy makers,” Gu explained. “With CBDC, a central authority could send faster payments to a targeted set of users and program-specific spending parameters”.
Visa hopes that customers will eventually be able to use their CBDC-linked Visa card or digital wallet anywhere that Visa is accepted.
“We envision a user experience that looks very familiar to how you pay today,” Gu said. “If CBDC networks are seamlessly integrated into your existing banking app, you’d be able to use your CBDC-linked Visa card at the checkout.”
In December 2020, Visa’s rivals Mastercard also partnered with Consensys to launch a similar CBDC testing platform.
ConsenSys, led by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, has worked with several central banks to test CBDCs including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Bank of Thailand.