IDEMIA, a global leader in identity technology and biometric solutions, has joined forces with Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, and HMD Global, known for Nokia Phones, in order to reach the offline Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) payments in the country.
Offline CBDC Payments
This strategic partnership aims to introduce an advanced offline payment system enabling the use of the digital Rupee, which is issued by the Reserve Bank of India, on feature phones. It's a pioneering initiative within the industry.
The collaboration intends to strengthen financial inclusion and digital payments by making it possible to transact in digital currency even without a smartphone or internet connectivity, whether temporarily or due to limited network coverage, as per their joint statement.
Addressing Smartphone Gaps
Despite the growing prevalence of smartphones, a significant segment of India's population still lacks access to these devices. This alliance seeks to bridge this gap, particularly in regions with restricted connectivity.
Secure Offline Transactions
IDEMIA's technology will provide a secure offline layer, enabling instant transactions without the need for online validation. It will be compatible with the digital Rupee in India and with various other solutions, whether decentralized or centralized, token-based or account-based, developed either by central banks or independent software vendors.
This partnership brings together IDEMIA's CBDC technology, Airtel Payments Bank's financial solutions, and Nokia feature phones, with the overarching goal of advancing financial inclusion. Once deployed, this solution will empower cost-effective feature phones to conduct offline transactions, thereby expanding financial access, according to the joint statement released on Wednesday.
This collaborative effort aligns with the Indian government's vision of establishing an inclusive digital economy accessible to all. As India continues its journey toward digital payments, IDEMIA, Nokia feature phones, and Airtel Payments Bank are committed to unlocking financial inclusion through offline payments.
The ultimate objective is to make the digital Rupee accessible to everyone, irrespective of connectivity constraints, further propelling India's transition toward a digitally inclusive economy.