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HKMA's Digital Hong Kong Dollar Pilot Program

Standard Chartered Hong Kong and Giesecke+Devrient ("G+D") have recently completed trials for the HKMA's Digital Hong Kong Dollar Pilot Program. These tests and experiential activities covered a range of application scenarios, including public transportation, restaurants, small businesses and university campuses, and aimed to explore the potential benefits and feasibility of simulating the digital Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to cash. The test cases were also showcased at the Standard Chartered Pavilion at the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023, where attendees were able to experience the application of the analog digital Hong Kong dollar in an interactive manner.

This use case test, conducted between May and October 2023, demonstrates how digital money works in the absence of the critical condition of network connectivity.

Standard Chartered noted that several offline payment applications were tested with technical support from G+D, the consultant for Standard Chartered Bank's 2018 Hong Kong banknote series, and this test applied its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) technology that supports public payment methods, incorporating secure hardware that provides critical infrastructure and governance mechanisms for the CBDC ecosystem to ensure its trustworthiness and integrity.

This test found that the participating testers considered factors such as "offline payment capability" and "interoperability" to be critical to the success of the digital Hong Kong dollar if it is to be introduced in the future. This includes enabling anyone to conduct transactions smoothly and securely under any circumstances, while allowing consumers to conduct simulated digital Hong Kong dollar transactions through their preferred networks and digital wallets.

We are pleased that nearly 80% of the consumers who participated in the test felt that the analog digital Hong Kong dollar has the potential to meet their current payment needs, and that merchants found the offline payment solution to be simple, easy to use and complementary to their existing digital payment methods," said Ms. Venus Mak, Head of Digital Banking, Customer and Data, Consumer, Private and SME Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong. The test has also shed light on the importance of interoperability and offline capabilities of the analog digital Hong Kong dollar, laying an important foundation for future research. We look forward to continuing to support the next phase of the HKMA's Digital Hong Kong Dollar Pilot Project."

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