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Turkey, Japan pilot digital currency with national ID, Idemia cards

Turkey, Japan pilot digital currency with national ID, Idemia cards

The Turkish government is planning the deployment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) infrastructure to be integrated with the country’s digital identity system and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s FAST instant payments service.

The initiative is part of Turkey’s Central Bank Digital Turkish Lira Research and Development Project. It will reportedly include testing the use of the CBDC for payments as well as for wholesale banking transactions.

The new phase of the plan was unveiled by Turkey’s Presidential Strategy and Budget Directorate last week, according to CoinDesk Türkiye. It comes roughly a year after the country’s government launched the first phase of its CBDC project in September 2021.

JCB, Idemia and Soft Space partner on payment cards

A similar CBDC project was recently launched by Japan’s international payment brand Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), in collaboration with biometrics and payment card provider Idemia and fintech company Soft Space.

Called JCBDC (JCB Digital Currency), the pilot project focuses on testing CBDC acceptance using existing JCB Contactless technologies, including contactless payment, merchants, POS terminals and card-based user interfaces. The announcement does not specify whether the cards will include biometrics, but they will be relied on to meet the system’s digital identity requirements.

JCB, Idemia and Soft Space announced they intend to complete the payment system development by late 2022 and conduct pilot tests with Tokyo merchants until March 2023.

Idemia partnered with ConsenSys to develop an offline payment solution for digital currencies supporting transactions with biometric payment cards and feature phones, rather than just smartphones, in late-2021.

“We at Idemia firmly believe that CBDCs are redefining the very fundamentals of the payment ecosystem,” comments the company’s managing director of APAC financial institutions, Romain Zanolo.

“We’re proud that our ability to innovate has enabled CBDC payments with existing card and POS terminal hardware. Idemia’s, JCB’s and Soft Space’s joint payment system expertise will usher in worldwide CBDC growth.”

The move comes two years after the Japanese central bank started exploring CBDCs by revealing a three-phase outline to deploy digital yen infrastructure in the country.

CBDCs are also growing in popularity in Europe and the U.S., with two of the world’s top central bankers recently discussing the importance of balancing privacy and security in deploying national digital currencies.

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