The collaboration will contribute towards an innovative, interoperable, and inclusive digital currency infrastructure leveraging on an open-sourced blockchain
Singapore, Nov. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — StraitsX, a part of Southeast Asia Digital Financial Services Group, Fazz, and Grab, a leading superapp in Southeast Asia, today announced they will be testing the issuance of Purpose Bound Money (PBM) in the form of commercial digital vouchers during the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) 2022.
During SFF, 5,000 selected trial participants will be able to utilise PBM1 in the form of digital vouchers through their preferred blockchain e-wallet application. They can use the vouchers sponsored by Temasek to make purchases at selected F&B outlets at the SFF 2022, as well as participating Grab’s merchant-partners such as Ishiro at Expo, and Flash Coffee, Han’s, Hotpot by Seoul Garden, and LiHo at Changi City Point.
GrabPay, Grab’s payment service, is working with StraitsX and digital currency payment gateway TripleA to support the last-mile settlement of PBM. This is done by accepting StraitsX’s XSGD on the Polygon chain, and reflecting the Singapore-dollar pegged stablecoin as SGD in the participating merchants’ GrabPay accounts. GrabPay will also be the main merchant payments processor for the PBM pilot at SFF this year – it will pay out to participating merchants in SGD on an on-demand basis, and remove any need for merchants to invest in end-of-day reconciliation between two accounting systems.
“We see this as transformative for the development of the digital assets space as PBM could form a new foundation infrastructure for payments, ensuring secure transactions, ease of use and seamless integration. Building on the work StraitsX has done with the Singapore dollar stablecoin, XSGD, the issuance of PBMs further demonstrates how blockchain technology and stablecoins can be applied in real-world scenarios. We are thrilled to work with industry leaders like Grab to showcase how the programmability and interoperability of stablecoins can make payment systems more efficient, environmentally friendly, and inclusive,” said Liu Tianwei, Deputy CEO of Fazz.
“We believe technology can be harnessed to economically empower our communities in Southeast Asia. The blockchain technology and applications for digital assets have the ability to accelerate financial inclusion. This pilot with StraitsX and the MAS is a great opportunity for us to test how the technology can be used to benefit the everyday user. We are excited to have our merchant-partners participate in this pilot and with their feedback, we hope to uncover more ways to help our users seamlessly participate in this technology and gain from the benefits.” said Wong Wenbin, Head of GrabFin Singapore.
About the pilot
PBM is explored as part of Project Orchid, building upon the concept and capabilities of both programmable payment and programmable money. This pilot project will delve into the enablement of PBM for the widespread distribution of money for commercial purposes, and its interoperability with e-wallets, payment systems and rails, and blockchains, allowing consumers to purchase goods and services through their preferred platform with PBM tokens.
PBM will enable individuals and organisations to embed logic-based conditions in the form of smart contracts that are automatically verified when submitted for transfers. At the same time, payments can be made more efficient, as the PBM token will unwrap and release the underlying digital currency, transferring it to a merchant’s digital wallet in real-time. The digital currency can then be used by the recipient immediately for other payouts. In this pilot, the digital currency will be reflected as SGD and paid out to the participating merchants in SGD.
Apart from StraitsX, Grab and Temasek, other supporting partners include: ADDX, AltLayer, Automata, Coinbase Wallet, Digital Treasures Centre (DTC), Fomopay, Sequence, TripleA, Trust Wallet and VISA.
This pilot is part of Project Orchid, first announced at SFF 2021, to explore the foundational technology infrastructure and technical competencies necessary to issue retail Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). Project Orchid builds on the key learnings from the Global CBDC Challenge, which was organised by MAS and its global partners, including IMF, World Bank and ADB, innovative solutions were sought to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion. StraitsX was among 15 finalists selected from over 300 applications representing over 50 countries.
The results from this programme will be used to inform the future phases of Project Orchid in the design and selection of infrastructures for a digital Singapore dollar.1PBM refers to a protocol that specifies the conditions upon which an underlying digital currency can be used. PBMs are bearer instruments, with self-contained programming logic and transferrable between two parties without intermediaries.
StraitsX is the pioneering payments infrastructure for the digital assets space in Southeast Asia. StraitsX is a Major Payment Institution licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and is part of the Fazz’s ecosystem of financial services which powers business banking in Southeast Asia. StraitsX offers personal and business account holders to mint and redeem StraitsX stablecoins, manage payments as well as connect their accounts to digital asset platforms. Business accounts can also access B2B API-enabled payment rails for digital asset platforms.
Grab is a leading superapp in Southeast Asia. Grab operates across the deliveries, mobility and digital financial services sectors in over 480 cities in eight countries in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Grab enables millions of people each day to access its driver- and merchant-partners to order food or groceries, send packages, hail a ride or taxi, pay for online purchases or access services such as lending, insurance, wealth management and telemedicine, all through a single “everyday everything” app.
Grab was founded in 2012 with the mission to drive Southeast Asia forward by creating economic empowerment for everyone, and since then, the Grab app has been downloaded onto millions of mobile devices. Grab strives to serve a triple bottom line: to simultaneously deliver financial performance for its shareholders and have a positive social and environmental impact in Southeast Asia.