Hong Kong and France Collaborate to Explore Innovative Cross-Border Payments with CBDCs

The Banque de France (BDF) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have announced a significant collaboration to advance cross-border payments using wholesale Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This partnership marks a milestone as the HKMA becomes the first major central bank outside the Eurosystem to participate in the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ongoing CBDC exploration efforts. 

The collaboration is formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both institutions. This agreement signifies a commitment to fostering innovation in the wholesale CBDC and tokenization markets. A key area of focus will be the study of interoperability between the BDF’s DL3S platform and the HKMA’s Project Ensemble Sandbox. This initiative aims to explore real-time cross-border and cross-currency payments using tokenized versions of the Euro and the Hong Kong Dollar. 

By optimizing settlement efficiency and facilitating interoperability between financial infrastructures, this cross-border experiment has the potential to revolutionize international transactions. The BDF and HKMA believe this collaboration will lay the groundwork for further exploration of tokenization and other emerging technologies within the financial sector. 

“This collaboration with the HKMA presents a unique opportunity to leverage the Eurosystem’s CBDC exploratory work and develop innovative use cases for cross-border payments,” said Denis Beau, First Deputy Governor of the BDF. “We are confident that this partnership will not only enhance financial inclusion but also contribute to the development of a more efficient global financial system.” 

“France and Hong Kong have a proven track record of pioneering advancements in financial technology,” echoed Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA. “Project Ensemble exemplifies our commitment to exploring innovative solutions for seamless interbank settlements using wholesale CBDCs. We are excited to collaborate with the BDF and leverage the combined strengths of our respective platforms to unlock the full potential of cross-border payments and tokenization.” 

This collaboration between the BDF and HKMA is a significant step forward in the development of CBDCs and their potential to transform cross-border payments. By working together, these leading institutions aim to pave the way for a more efficient, inclusive, and innovative global financial landscape.