The Riksbank has implemented a public procurement of a technology supplier to the e-krona pilot project and intends to sign an agreement with consulting company Accenture.
The process seeks to deepen the bank’s understanding of the technological possibilities for the e-krona, as it embarks on a potentially significant 2020 in terms of growth prospects.
At the culmination of the assignment, the bank aims to find a solution to how an e-krona could function in a test environment. It will see a technical platform developed with a user interface that enables, for instance, payment with the e-krona from a mobile phone, a card and a watch. The platform will also contain simulations of payment service providers, retail outlets and other parts of the Swedish payment system.
The assignment will run to 31 December 2020, with a possibility for extension so that the total maximum period of agreement will be seven years. If the Riksbank chooses to extend the e-krona pilot project, the e-krona will be further developed with increased functions and further tests. The Riksbank has not yet taken a decision to issue an e-krona.
The public procurement resulted in eleven requests to participate, from which the Riksbank selected three suppliers who were invited to present tenders. The winning supplier offers the best balance of price and quality. The Riksbank intends to sign an agreement before the end of the year.
The bank’s appetite to explore the potential use of a digital currencies stems from the significant decline of cash use in Sweden over the last decade. The test interface will allow a plethora of platforms to utilise the new currency including cards, mobile phones and wearables.