The front-end prototypes for the digital euro, which won’t be used in later stages of the CBDC project, will be made by the five fintech, payments, and e-commerce companies.

The European Central Bank, or ECB, has announced that it will work with five businesses to create future digital user interfaces for the euro.

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Friday that it has selected the “Big Four” tech companies Amazon, Nexi, CaixaBank, Worldline, and the European Payments Initiative (EPI) to each concentrate on developing a prototype based on certain use cases of the digital euro. The companies will develop front-end prototypes for the project’s digital money, which will not be employed in later stages, according to the central bank.

Comparing the five businesses to the 50 other front-end developers that responded to the ECB’s call for proposals in April, the ECB selected them based on their ability to meet “particular capabilities.” As part of a two-year inquiry phase into the digital euro, which is anticipated to end in October 2023, officials planned for the project to be finished in the first quarter of 2023.

While remaining coy on if or when the bank would issue a CBDC, ECB officials have been researching the possible effects of a digital euro on Europe as interest in central bank digital currency appears to be growing globally. In September 2021, the central bank ordered a series of focus groups on digital payment systems, and the results revealed that using digital currency at both online and offline retailers might be a crucial component of a digital euro. Additionally, a previous public survey found that both citizens and professionals saw privacy as “the most critical element of a digital euro.”

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