Phase 2 CBDC Pilot Transitions to Offline Payments, with JCB, IDEMIA, and Soft Space

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The JCB Digital Currency (JCBDC) initiative, spearheaded by JCB in collaboration with IDEMIA and Soft Space, has entered its second phase. This project is focused on enhancing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) transactions.

During the initial phase, the team developed a CBDC payment system that allowed merchants to accept digital currency payments without altering their existing point-of-sale systems and payment cards. This system was successfully tested in Japan in 2023, paving the way for Phase 2.

The latest phase introduces a significant advancement: customers will be able to perform offline peer-to-peer CBDC transactions. This can be achieved in two ways: transferring funds from one card to another via a mobile NFC device, or directly between two mobile NFC devices. This phase aligns with the White Label Alliance payment standard, ensuring strong security through the use of secure elements.

IDEMIA and Soft Space have contributed substantially to this phase, providing backend tokenization servers, mobile wallet and card applications, SoftPOS solutions, and the necessary APIs and SDKs for system integration. This phase leverages IDEMIA’s Offline CBDC Payments protocol and Soft Space’s expertise in contactless payments.

The project aims to facilitate secure and convenient CBDC transfers, accessible anytime and anywhere, even without an internet connection. It guarantees immediate fund availability, addressing a crucial aspect of digital transactions.

JCB, IDEMIA, and Soft Space are preparing to launch a pilot for this second phase in early 2024, marking another step forward in digital currency innovation.

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