Idemia Secure Transactions (IST), the division specialized in secure payment systems of Idemia, has announced a partnership with Qualcomm. This collaboration aims to facilitate offline payments for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) via smartphones.

IST will thereby enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to offer their users the ability to make offline payments using the Snapdragon 8 Series mobile platform, which relies on a Secure Processor Unit from Qualcomm.

Flexibility in payment methods

Customers are given the flexibility to make payments using traditional cards, biometric cards, smartphones or smartwatches. Offline payments, where server validation is not possible, are secured by the issuance of a secure element that prevents double spending and unauthorized money creation. Thanks to Qualcomm’s secure element, smartphones can be used for offline transactions.

IST, which provides services to financial institutions, mobile network operators and car manufacturers, has already demonstrated the possibility of offline CBDC payments on various payment devices. The company can now process login credentials and complete payments offline, using an integrated secure element into users’ phones.

More than 90% of central banks are working on CBDCs

A 2021 Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey revealed that more than 90 percent of central banks are developing digital currencies. “This new payment solution highlights Idemia Secure Transactions’ ability to combine seamless implementation with increasingly secure technologies, with the primary goal of making user life easier,” said Jerome Ajdenbaum, Vice President of Digital Currency at IST. “We are excited to work with central banks and mobile OEMs to roll out these solutions globally.”

Asaf Shen, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., added: “Using the Qualcomm SPU in the Snapdragon 8 Series mobile platforms will make offline CBDC payments more secure and provide easy integration for OEMs. The certification of the smart card for SPU indicates that it can withstand attacks from an attacker with a high attack potential, which represents the highest level of security. We look forward to the implementation of offline CBDC by OEMs to simplify users’ lives.”

The announcement follows a major reorganization at Idemia last month, which saw the company split into three divisions: smart identity, public safety biometrics and secure payments.


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