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Can Visa’s CBDC pilot aid in modernizing banking?

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Visa, in collaboration with other banks and Hong Kong regulator, completes a groundbreaking pilot program that tokenizes deposits for faster interbank settlements.


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  • The pilot centered on the concept of tokenized deposits.
  • One of the key findings was the remarkable speed at which final settlements were achieved.

Payments giant Visa has successfully completed a pilot program for central bank digital currencies [CBDCs] in partnership with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, HSBC, and Hang Seng Bank.

The pilot, known as the e-HKD program, centered on the concept of tokenized deposits. This process aims to modernize traditional banking by leveraging blockchain technology to convert customers’ deposited funds into digital tokens and record them on a blockchain ledger.

This transformation of traditional financial assets into digital tokens can improve efficiency, reduce settlement times, and enhance security.

Near-real-time settlements and 24/7 operations

One of the pilot program’s key discoveries was the impressive speed at which final settlements occurred for interbank transfers.

According to Visa, the testing demonstrated that final settlements for interbank transfers occurred in near real-time.

This significant reduction in settlement times has the potential to revolutionize the way financial institutions conduct transactions and handle interbank transfers, offering a clear advantage over traditional methods.

Visa further noted that its platform was able to function seamlessly 24/7. This is a notable departure from traditional payment systems that often experience downtime after regular business hours or on weekends.

This continuous operation is a substantial advantage, allowing for uninterrupted financial activities and significantly improving overall efficiency.

The use of blockchain technology in this pilot program added another layer of security and transparency.

The success of the program has opened the door to a wide range of possibilities for Visa and its partners. One area of exploration involves tokenized asset markets and programmable finance.

For instance, the pilot included a use case known as “Property Payments.”

In this scenario, a buyer transfers the remaining balance tokens to a property developer automatically upon reaching the completion date of the contract. This automation minimizes the lag time in closing the transaction, offering an innovative and efficient way of conducting financial activities.


Saman Waris works as a News Editor at AMBCrypto. She has always been fascinated by how the tides of finance and technology shape communities across demographics. Cryptocurrencies are of particular interest to Saman, with much of her writing centered around understanding how ideas like Momentum and Greater Fool theories apply to altcoins, specifically, memecoins. A graduate in history, Saman worked the sports beat before diving into crypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto 2 years ago, Saman was a News Editor at Sportskeeda. This was preceded by her stint as Editor-in-Chief at EssentiallySports.
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