Sweden's central bank is set to sign a deal with Accenture to develop a digital currency, dubbed the e-krona, in a test environment.
With cash usage dwindling in Sweden, the Riksbank started a project in the spring of 2017 to examine the scope for the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that could ensure that the general public will still have access to a state-guaranteed means of payment.
The bank now says it is ready to sign on with Accenture on a year-long pilot project that will see the development of a technical platform with a user interface that enables e-krona payments from cards, mobile phones and wearables.
The partnership is for an initial run to 31 December 2020 but could last for seven years if the Riksbank decides to go further with the plan and pilot new functions. The bank stresses it has not yet decided whether it will actually issue the e-krona.