IDEMIA have announced that it has joined hands with Airtel Payments Bank and HMD Global, the home of Nokia Phones to expand the reach of offline CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) payments in India.
All the three organisations would be working together to introduce an advanced offline payment system over the next few months that would facilitate the use of the digital Rupee (CBDC issued by the Reserve Bank of India) on feature phones and promoting financial inclusion.
For the first time in the industry, an attempt is being made to bring CBDC payments on feature phones via an application interface.
IDEMIA Secure Offline CBDC Payment solution already works with a large variety of devices: smartphones, biometric cards, and plastic cards. In India, smartphone accessibility remains elusive for more than half of the population.
This endeavour seeks to confront the obstacles associated with facilitating digital transactions to a much wider consumers particularly in areas with limited connectivity.
Under this collaboration IDEMIA’s technology will offer an offline layer to ensure instant and secure transactions without the need for online validation. It will work with the digital Rupee in India, and with any other solution, decentralised or centralised, token or account based, developed in-house by a central bank or independent software vendors.
The announcement brings all the three organisations together IDEMIA’s CBDC technology with Airtel Payments Bank financial solution and Nokia feature phones to go further on financial inclusion.
Once the solution is commercially made available, users will be able to pay using an ingenious and cost-effective feature phone extending the accessibility of offline payment functionalities to a wider population.
“We are confident that this collaboration will allow us to further expand the reach of digital payments and be the pioneers in the development of acceptance of digital rupee in India,” said Amit KAKATIKAR, SVP Payment Solutions at IDEMIA. “Our alliance with Nokia and Airtel Payment Bank is poised to provide valuable insights and contributions to the evolution of offline retail CBDC systems.”