Bank of England Taps Accenture to Update Real-Time Gross Settlement Service to Support CBDCs

The Bank of England (BoE) has appointed an Irish tech consultancy giant, Accenture, to assist in the renewal program for its Real-Time Gross Settlement Service (RTGS).

According to the announcement on July 30, the contract awarding follows a public procurement process that began back in February 2019. BoE has since noted that the renewal of its RTGS is set to add value to the U.K payment system in several ways. The announcement reads:

“…the renewed RTGS service is to increase resilience and access, offer wider interoperability, improve user functionality and strengthen the end-to-end risk management of the UK high-value payment system.”

The UK’s RTGS plays an essential role in the country’s financial ecosystem, settling an average of £685billlion every day. Executive Director for Banking, Payments, and Innovation, Victoria Cleland, noted that this milestone would play a significant role in shaping the future of UK’s payment network:

“The Renewal Program is a key priority not just for the Bank but also for the wider UK payments industry.  It will support a resilient financial system that protects the UK’s financial and monetary stability in the years to come.”

CBDC’s Also in Consideration

Reporting the news first, Coindesk, revealed that the BoE renewal RTGS might be compatible with a digital pound amongst other CBDC’s. The new design will feature tools for ‘bolt-on’ functions, should the BoE decide to integrate CBDC’s. Cleland further echoed that it will keep the U.K. on track when it comes to FinTech innovation:

“The renewed RTGS service will be designed not only to benefit everyone in the country which makes payments but to keep the UK at the leading edge of payments innovation.”

This development coincides with a new spark in CBDC interest by governments and regulators. China is currently ahead of the curve, having launched its digital yuan pilot back in April. Nations like France and Italy have shown willingness to participate in a digital Euro as soon as one is formalized.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

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