Grab and StraitsX to test use of ‘purpose-bound money’

Grab and StraitsX to test use of ‘purpose-bound money’
Image Credit: Grab

5,000 participants to use vouchers through e-wallet app.

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Super app Grab and payments infrastructure platform StraitsX will test the issuance of “purpose-bound money" (PBM) in the form of commercial digital vouchers at the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF). 

Purpose-bound money, or purpose-bound digital Singapore dollars (SGD) as defined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) enables senders to specify conditions, such as validity period and types of shops, when making transfers in digital SGD.

The government has also initiated a few trials to test other forms of the concept, including government vouchers, government payouts, and managing learning accounts along with industry players. 

The pilot will involve 5,000 selected trial participants using vouchers through their preferred blockchain e-wallet application. These vouchers can be used to make purchases at selected food and beverage outlets and Grab’s merchant partners.

The digital currency will be reflected as SGD and paid out to the participating merchants in SGD.

The companies are also working with digital currency payment gateway TripleA to support the last-mile settlement of PBM - accepting StraitsX’s XSGD on the Polygon chain, and reflecting the Singapore-dollar pegged stablecoin as SGD in the participating merchants’ GrabPay accounts.  

This pilot is part of Project Orchid, earlier announced at SFF 2021, to explore the foundational technology infrastructure and technical competencies necessary to issue retail Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).

More recently, DBS announced a partnership with Singapore’s Open Government Products to launch government vouchers for a live pilot involving up to 1,000 selected consumers and six merchants.

The company aims to achieve business benefits like instant settlement, easing cash flow and reducing resources needed for administrative tasks. 

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