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CaixaBank helped ECB to develop a prototype within an experimental exercise to make immediate payments between individuals within the eurozone using the digital euro

CaixaBank has co-developed a prototype for a personal payments wallet using the digital euro.
CaixaBank has co-developed a prototype for a personal payments wallet using the digital euro.

• CaixaBank has designed a mobile application prototype that simulates sending and receiving money instantly between individuals.

• The test solution, that will not be used in the upcoming phases of the digital euro project, could in principle be integrated in the digital banking service of financial institutions and could complement the existing payment methods between individuals, with the added value of increased privacy: users would be able to transact without sharing their details and keep the confidentiality of their transactions.

• The ECB, which continues to study how to possibly launch a digital euro, has published the lessons learned from the prototypes presented by organisations selected in the international call for collaboration in the project.

CaixaBank has co-developed a prototype for a personal payments wallet using the digital euro.

The bank was selected in September by the European Central Bank (ECB), as part of a competitive global selection process for payment service providers, banks and other relevant companies, to engage in the creation of prototypes of payment services as part of the investigation phase to prepare for a possible launch of a digital euro. CaixaBank is the only bank selected to participate in this initiative.

With a broad digital capacity that has led it to become an international leader in financial services and innovative payment methods, CaixaBank was entrusted with developing a solution for payments between individuals (P2P).

The proposal presented to the ECB is based on a mobile application in which users would be able to easily view their balance and completed transactions in digital euro. The app would also allow users to send digital euro or request pending payments from other individuals in the eurozone quickly and easily. To simplify the use of the service, its integration into the digital banking applications of other financial institutions has been considered.

The service would also offer additional advantages in terms of privacy. As users of the digital euro prototype, each customer would have a digital identification name that would be sufficient to use the payment service. This would enable customers to send and receive payments without necessarily having to share details, such as their telephone number, email or IBAN. With the aim of simplifying the service’s use, however, an option of sending money to the personal contacts stored by a customer would be provided. In addition, the ECB would not have access to the private information of payments made in digital euros between users.

ECB: prototype summary and lessons learned

The European Central Bank (ECB) conducted a prototyping exercise to test how design choices for the digital euro could be technically implemented and integrated into the existing European payments landscape. The tests showed that it is possible to smoothly integrate them, while leaving ample scope for innovative features and technologies.

The European Central Bank published today the prototype summary on the ECB website with the findings, which also confirmed that a digital euro would work both online and offline, using independent designs. This would also increase the resilience of the digital euro.

CaixaBank, leading bank in innovation

Technology and innovation are at the core of CaixaBank’s strategy. With more than 11 million users of its digital banking service - the largest customer base in the Spanish financial sector - the bank works on a daily basis towards developing new models and capabilities to meet the evolving needs of its customers. 

CaixaBank, through its subsidiary CaixaBank Payments & Consumer, is the leading payment processor in the Iberian market, with a total of 32.2 million cards issued, a market share for card purchases of 30.7% and more than four million mobile payment customers.

CaixaBank has its own tech subsidiary, CaixaBank Tech, as well as multidisciplinary teams that take innovation to every corner of the organisation. As part of its digitisation process the bank has driven various projects based on advanced technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, apps development and big data. These projects provide the bank’s advisers with improved resources to advise their customers and drive the customisation of the commercial offer, with the aim of improving customer linkage, develop new financial services and streamline the decision-making process.  

Thanks to its digital transformation strategy, CaixaBank has become one of the highest rated banks in the world for the quality of its digital products and services, and it has received various international acknowledgments, such as the “Most Innovative Private Bank in Western Europe 2022” and the “Best Consumer Digital Bank in Spain 2022” from Global Finance. These prizes are in addition to the “Best Consumer Digital Bank for Online Deposits, Card and Investment Product Offerings in the World 2022”,“Best Online Retail Bank for Managing Invoices in the World 2022”, and “Best Online Retail Bank for Loans in Western Europe 2022”, also from Global Finance. Furthermore, the bank’s online banking service, CaixaBankNow, has been named the Best mobile consumer banking application in the world 2019, and in Western Europe in 2021, 2020, and 2018.  

Furthermore, the use of big data and artificial intelligence has earned the bank the accolade of “World’s Best Bank in Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence 2022” at the Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards, and “Best Private Bank for Big Data Analytics and AI in Europe 2022 and 2021” by the Financial Times Group’s PWM magazine.

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