Yesterday, the Bank of Ghana announced it signed a contract with Germany’s Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) Currency Technology to commence a pilot of Ghana’s retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-Cedi.
The Bank of Ghana is already quite advanced in its CBDC research. As its central bank Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, explained in June, Ghana’s approach is divided into three stages. These are a design phase, an implementation stage and a pilot phase.
The implementation phase is where G+D will adapt its CBDC solution for Ghana’s requirements. The digital currency will be piloted across a diverse user group to test its functionality.
“CBDC presents a great opportunity to build a robust, inclusive, competitive and sustainable financial sector, led by the Central Bank”, said Dr. Addison. “This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept.”
The CBDC will use G+D’s Filia solution, which includes the ability to conduct offline payments, a flexible balance between privacy and transparency and the opportunity to integrate Filia into larger payment ecosystems.
Financial inclusion, one of Ghana’s primary motives for issuing a CBDC, will also be promoted. The CBDC will eliminate the need for a bank account, requiring a smartphone or other form of digital wallet.
This is the second time that G+D has won a CBDC project. The first one was Thailand, which has a great deal of CBDC experience, having carried out six CBDC initiatives. G+D’s parent company, Giesecke+Devrient, is a major provider of central bank infrastructure.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the African continent, Nigeria is hoping to pilot its CBDC as early as October this year. The potential for using a CBDC for cross border payments is also featuring prominently, including the latest trial between France and Tunisia.