The Central Bank of Europe (ECB) announced on Friday (16) the name of five companies that will collaborate in its ‘digital euro’ initiative. The highlight goes to the e-commerce giant, Amazon, which was one of those chosen in the program. In this first phase, the ECB and the selected entities will develop the user interfaces.

According to the ECB publication, Amazon and four other selected companies are part of a group of 54 entities from different areas that have offered to participate in the program, after a public call in April this year.

The other companies that will contribute to the Euro Digital initiative are:

CaixaBank — for online p2p testing;

Worldline — for offline p2p payments;

PPE — for retail payments by the consumer;

Nexi — for retailer-initiated payments.

In turn, Amazon will contribute to the payment modality for e-commerce.

“All 54 companies fulfilled a number of core capabilities that were outlined in the call, and the top five vendors chosen matched the specific capabilities needed for the assigned use case,” the ECB said.

The body stressed that prototyping — planned since the announcement of the Euro Digital program in July last year — is an important element in the investigation phase. “It is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, when the ECB will also publish its conclusions,” he concluded.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is a big fan of central bank-issued digital currencies (or CBDCs), and a critic of cryptocurrencies. A CBDC is the digital form of a national currency, such as the US dollar or the euro, and many nations around the world are at different stages of researching and launching their own currencies.

Brazil, for example, has its ‘Real Digital’ initiative underway with LIFT (Laboratory of Financial and Technological Innovations), a collaborative project of the Central Bank of Brazil (BC).

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