JCB, IDEMIA and Malaysia’s Soft Space to Trial CBDC Acceptance in Tokyo

JCB, IDEMIA and Malaysia’s Soft Space to Trial CBDC Acceptance in Tokyo


Japan-based global payments brand JCB has launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot project in partnership with French identity technologies company IDEMIA and Malaysian digital payments technology provder Soft Space.

The project, dubbed the JCB Digital Currency or JCBDC, involves developing a CBDC payment solution and conducting pilot tests with Tokyo merchants.

JCB aims to address merchant reluctance to accept CBDCs by enabling CBDC payments to be made using its existing contactless payment solutions, POS terminals and plastic card-based user interfaces.

The company says that the use of such solutions could be more appealing to payees who may not have smartphones or who could find more complicated user interfaces challenging, thus allowing for wider public use of CBDCs.

Soft Space and IDEMIA will assist JCB in the development of the payment system. The companies aim to conclude development by late 2022 and conduct pilot tests with Tokyo merchants until March 2023.

Koremitsu Sannomiya

Koremitsu Sannomiya

“It gives me great honour to announce our collaboration with IDEMIA and Soft Space on this project. This project proves that we can use existing payment acceptance hardware for new CBDC payment systems, which is a huge benefit for both consumers and merchants,”

said Koremitsu Sannomiya, Board Member, Senior Executive Officer of JCB.

Joel Tay

Joel Tay

“We’re thrilled to be first in the world to trial CBDC acceptance on SoftPOS alongside our partners JCB and IDEMIA. Although CBDCs are still in their infancy, this pilot takes us forward from theory to reality, by harnessing our in-store payment experience and existing payment platform expertise,”

said Joel Tay, CEO of Soft Space.

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