French, Swiss central banks to experiment with CBDCs for cross-border payments

France’s and Switzerland’s central banks, along with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, announced Thursday the commencement of wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) experimentation for international payments, according to a release.

“The Eurosystem is engaging in innovation and adapting its actions to the strong trend towards the digitalization of payments. The Banque de France is convinced of the potential benefits of wholesale central bank digital currency to provide maximum security and efficiency in financial transactions,” Deputy Governor of the Banque de France Sylvie Goulard said in the statement.

Specifically, the cross border payments will occur between France and Switzerland banks.  While the CBDC testing process commences, the statement also makes clear that the experiment does not suggest either the French or Swiss Central banks will publicly release a CBDC anytime soon.

This news comes months after France’s central bank, Banque de France, transacted with its own CBDC, and appears to be on time with its prior plans to conduct use case tests with its CBDC, which were supposed to occur this spring.