European Central Bank Selects 5 Payments Companies to Test Out its CBDC Backend, including Amazon

This phase is expected for completion in the first quarter of 2023 when the bank will publish its findings.


The European Central bank (ECB) says it has selected 5 companies that will help to test out potential user interphases for its central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The ECB is the central bank of the 19 European Union (EU) countries which use the Euro and has been running investigations to determine the benefits and challenges related to a digital Euro.

According to the Bank, the digital Euro would be like Euro banknotes, but digital. It would be an electronic form of money, issued by the Eurosystem (the ECB and the national central banks of the Euro area), and would be accessible to all citizens and firms.

5 companies were selected from a pool of 54 front-end providers following a call for an expression of interest that the ECB issued as it seeks prototypes to test its backend with.

The 5 will each focus on one specific use case of a digital Euro:

  • Peer-to-peer online payments – CaixaBank
  • Peer-to-peer offline payments – Worldline
  • Point of sale payments initiated by the payer – EPI
  • Point of sale payments initiated by the payee – Nexi
  • e-Commerce payments – Amazon

In a astatement, the ECB said:

“All 54 companies fulfil a number of ‘essential capabilities’ that were outlined in the call, while the five providers chosen best matched the ‘specific capabilities’ required for the assigned use case. The ECB appreciates the wide interest shown in the prototyping exercise.”

– The European Central Bank (ECB)


According to the bank, the 5 fulfil a specific essential service that it was targeting as it continues with the prototyping phase of its CBDC. This phase is expected for completion in the first quarter of 2023 when the bank will publish its findings.

However, what the bank is aiming for is to find out how well the technology behind a digital Euro integrates with the prototypes developed by the 5 partners. In the testing, the front-end prototypes will initiate transactions through their CBDC infrastructure and be processed in the back.

The prototypes are only for this stage of testing with ECB indicating that it has no plans to use the prototypes at further stages.



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