Visa and ConsenSys build CBDC on-ramp to existing payment networks

Visa and ConsenSys build CBDC on-ramp to existing payment networks

Visa is working with blockchain firm ConsenSys on a project to help bridge CBDC networks with existing payment rails.

The card scheme is currently in the process of integrating its CBDC Payment Module with the ConsenSys Codefi CBDC sandbox. The partnership would enable central banks to design their digital currency on Consensys' Quorum and then use Visa’s infrastructure to distribute the currency via financial intermediaries like commercial banks.

Visa's CBDC Payment Module s designed to provide an on-ramp to existing payment networks, so that CBDC networks can easily connect to traditional financial service providers. For banks and issuers processors, they’ll be able to plug into the module and integrate their existing infrastructure and be enabled to do things like issue CBDC-linked payment cards or wallet credentials for consumers to use.

Catherine Gu, Visa’s head of CBDC says: "We envision a user experience that looks very familiar to how you pay today. If CBDC networks are seamlessly integrated into your existing banking app, you’d be able to use your CBDC-linked Visa card at the checkout. Or tap your digital wallet - loaded with your CBDC funds and payment credential—to pay securely at any of the 80 million merchant locations worldwide that accept Visa and any of its connected networks, all through existing retailers’ existing payment terminal. It’s a familiar experience for people around the world."

Gu says the card scheme expects to be piloting and prototyping actual use cases later this spring.

"At that point, our consultants and product experts in our Global Crypto Advisory Practice and Digital Currency Innovation Hub will be ready to work with central banks, financial institutions and fintechs to integrate and configure the CBDC Payments Module for their technology stacks," she says. "It’s a natural extension of our commitment to support new forms of money movement and we’re eager to get this important work underway."