Sweden’s central bank has launched an e-krona pilot project with consulting company Accenture.
The Riksbank says it hopes to broaden its understanding of the technological possibilities for the e-krona, an apparent step towards a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The assignment aims to provide more clarity into how an e-krona could function in a test environment, the bank said in a statement.
During the first year of the e-krona pilot project, a technical platform will be developed with a user interface that enables payment with the e-krona from a mobile phone, a card, or a smartwatch.
The platform will also contain simulations of payment service providers, retail outlets, and other parts of the Swedish payment system.
A Riksbank spokesperson said: “The assignment will run to December 31 2020, with a possibility for extension so that the total maximum period of agreement will be seven years.
Riksbanken har genomfört en upphandling av en teknisk leverantör till e-kronapiloten och avser att teckna avtal med konsultföretaget Accenture. Det främsta syftet med e-kronapiloten är att bredda bankens kunskap om e-kronans tekniska möjligheter. https://t.co/t6JA0zPrCy
— Sveriges riksbank (@riksbanken) December 13, 2019
“If the Riksbank chooses to extend the e-krona pilot project, the e-krona will be further developed with increased functions and further tests.
“The Riksbank has not yet taken a decision to issue an e-krona.”
The public procurement resulted in eleven requests to participate, from which the Riksbank selected three suppliers who were invited to present tenders.
The Riksbank intends to sign an agreement before the end of the year.
In a previous statement about a potential e-krona, a Riksbank spokesperson said: “The use of banknotes and coins is declining in society.
“At the same time, technological advances with regard to electronic money and payment methods are proceeding rapidly.
“The Riksbank is therefore investigating whether Swedish krona need to be made available in electronic form, the so-called e-krona.”