ANZ Bank and Persistent build an innovative retail CBDC solution for Global MAS challenge

Client Success

ANZ Bank

ANZ Bank builds an innovative Digital Currency solution for the MAS challenge

Overview of MAS CBDC challenge

ANZ Bank, one of the 15 finalists in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Global Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Challenge has selected Persistent Systems, among other partners, to develop and showcase the use of digital technologies and CBDC as a use case for being an enabler to the government and citizens digital ecosystem experience. The solution seeks to leverage the investments and solutions that are already in place or are being implemented within the ecosystem, for e-governance and smart nation initiatives.

MAS launched a global challenge for retail CBDC solutions in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in June 2021. The Global CBDC Challenge seeks innovative retail CBDC solutions to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.

ANZ’s Journey in MAS CBDC Challenge

“ANZ is pleased to be a part of this exciting challenge which explores how central bank digital currencies can be harnessed to bring further efficiencies to digital payment processes, thereby promoting financial inclusion and wellbeing for the benefit of communities globally”, says Balaji Natarajan, Head of Payments and Cash Management Asia, ANZ Bank.

“We have a rich history as an innovator in payments and working together with the fintech ecosystem including government agencies and industry and technology partners through initiatives like this is an important way for us to help accelerate the digitalisation of the economy.”

Digital Currency (NICE) Solution

Delivering a robust innovative National Integrated CBDC Ecosystem (NICE) to create an inclusive and universally accessible Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) aimed at improving the financial wellbeing in an increasingly digitized society.

In the true spirit of collaboration and innovation, ANZ Bank, its partners and Persistent team built an inclusive distribution ecosystem for this digital form of money (CBDCs) that can be used by everyone as easily as they use physical currency today. Persistent Systems helped ANZ to develop this prototype for The National Integrated CBDC Ecosystem (NICE), which provides citizens access to their Prime wallets authenticated through their National Digital ID.

The NICE prototype is designed and built using the Corda distributed ledger technology. The related use cases and end-to-end solution approach were developed by ANZ as a part of submission for the MAS Global CBDC Challenge in which finalists presented at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2021. The bank chose Persistent as their technology partner for the primary Government network and one of the secondary distribution solutions to help bring their CDBC vision to life.

We’re delighted to have worked with Persistent systems on our submission for the Global CBDC challenge. Persistent took on the challenge with huge enthusiasm and moved at incredible pace when acting on feedback. The market-leading expertise of the delivery team deployed with a meticulous focus on detail made it possible to prototype our comprehensive National Integrated CBDC Ecosystem (NICE) in just a few weeks. This achievement, in a such a short period of time, is a reflection of the commitment applied by the Persistent team to this exercise every step of the way. It was a pleasure to work with them.

Balaji Natarajan
Head, Payments and Cash Management, Asia Transaction Banking
ANZ Banking Group Limited, Singapore

ANZ leadership’s vision for CBDC is to create an ecosystem of programmable money, that enables grounds-up innovation in payments and remittances from many sources – from banks, to fintech to citizen services – while reducing friction, increasing speed, and creating new business models. We are excited to bring this vision to life with them.

Pandurang Kamat, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Persistent Systems
Highlights of the solution:
  • A Prime wallet network operated by the government. Prime Wallets are provisioned and authenticated through the National Digital ID (Singpass in the prototype) and accessible to all citizens and businesses, without the need for additional documentation.
  • Fast, error-free disbursal of CBDCs directly to Citizen & Business wallets, which can be accessed via website, mobile app, or an offline card.
  • The Prime wallet enables payments to any other Prime wallet user or to other users utilizing secondary private pseudonymous wallets that are interoperable. CBDCs can also be exchanged for bank account balances by using wallets provided by commercial banks.
  • The CBDC is issued as a bearer instrument and vaulted on the Corda Distributed Ledger for circulation as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
  • The NFTs are circulated by the central bank node on the DLT with denominations similar to physical cash.  This unique design enables creation of smart money that is inherently programmable, is highly secure and can be instantly validated.
  • The design also enables cross-chain CBDC transfers across different DLT networks, is interoperable with traditional database systems and existing payment rails.

ANZ, its partners and Persistent believe that a considerately designed CBDC using public-private infrastructure can work to deliver a more accessible and inclusive future where people are empowered through digital solutions.

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