IDEMIA, the French identity security service provider, announced on September 6 that it has collaborated with Airtel Payments Bank and Nokia’s parent company HMD Global to introduce an offline Central Bank Digital Currency payment application on feature phones.
IDEMIA said that all three organisations will work together to expand the reach of offline Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) payments in India. They will facilitate the use of Digital Rupee on feature phones, which will promote financial inclusion. IDEMIA said this endeavour will be the first attempt to bring CBDC payments on feature phones using an application interface.
“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.”
“Once this is commercially launched over the next few months, Nokia feature phone users in India, will be able to access the digital Rupee thanks to this collaboration which will empower the Nokia feature phone users with this latest technology and strengthen our government’s vision of inclusive digital economy for all,” said Ravi Kunwar- VP- India & APAC – HMD Global.
“Our partnership with IDEMIA and Nokia is a testament to our unwavering commitment to drive financial inclusion in the country. We are confident that once we move from the design phase and launch the solution commercially with all required approvals, it will play a pivotal role in advancing the accessibility of financial services and contribute to India’s transition towards a digitally inclusive economy,” said Prasad Routray, Head, Corporate Business & Alliances at Airtel Payments Bank.
IDEMIA Secure Offline CBDC Payment solution already works with a large variety of devices, including smartphones, biometric cards, and plastic cards. 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.
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.