Leading minds form Innovation Hothouse to design a ‘New Era for GBP’

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New Green Paper, ‘new era for GBP’, to be launched in February 2022

London, UK – 23 November 2021:  The Payments Association (formerly The Emerging Payments Association (EPA)) today announces the formation of an Innovation Hothouse Bridge (‘the Hothouse’ or ‘the group’) bridging the gap between today’s established payment  systems and the new breed of blockchain based solutions, to stimulate debate on a new era in finance. The newly formed alliance is creating a Green Paper exploring multiple use cases across the digital currency landscape that could arise from the creation of a new digital currencies infrastructure for financial markets.

The consortium is led by top-level fintech experts from The Payments Association, Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s foremost management consulting companies, and paywith.glass, a Dutch-based FinTech company working extensively with artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology. The consortium will publish its recommendations and use cases in a green paper, on the 4th February 2022.

Currently financial processes ranging from retail payments to international trade and capital markets infrastructure have inefficiencies that can be solved through digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledger and smart contracts. Although the proposed ‘Central Bank Digital Currencies’ (CBDCs) could solve these problems and many more, their full implementations may be a decade or more away for most countries, so the question becomes how to make the most of the UK’s financial infrastructure during the interim period between now and the implementation of fully digital currencies. The new Bank of England Omnibus Account is seen as something that could potentially form the basis of a modernised financial markets infrastructure as it is the first BoE account to provide 24/7 access.

The aim of the use cases would be to reduce the ‘friction’ in the financial world, giving financial institutions, merchants and ultimately consumers much greater flexibility and control over their money. Following on from the publication of the Green Paper, a pilot will commence which is led by paywith.glass who will use its interoperable iDC/EP platform to enable a bridge between the old payment rails and the new CBDC world.

The Payment Association’s Director General, Tony Craddock, says: “The UK will soon be entering a world where some countries are using digital currencies, much of the current financial infrastructure will soon be in place and consumers are using a mixture of traditional currency, cryptocurrency and stablecoins. Our aim with this project is to bring together a consortium of the best minds in payments to find the best way to link the old world and the new, and we believe that modernised settlement accounts at central banks are needed to enable this. They would form the lynchpin of a new financial infrastructure that could offer services that would impact everyone, from the largest financial institutions to individual consumers.”

Kunal Jhanji, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group, comments: “This project has the potential to form part of a new era for the GBP. After the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, the creation and growth of blockchain solutions for payments, new data standards like ISO 20022, the increasing focus on the billions of unbanked people across the world and the focus on reducing cash use since the pandemic the financial world is in clear need of modernisation, and the UK can be leading this effort. This consortium has the potential to be a stepping stone to a new world of financial technology that can enable change throughout the established world of finance.”

Paul Sisnett, Chief Executive Officer at paywith.glass, adds: “Our unique collaboration brings together heterogeneous but ultimately invaluable expertise to seed true innovation. We support the initiative to make the UK an innovation-led economy but we are convinced that innovation must go hand in hand with public-private collaboration and regulatory considerations. Embedding this perspective from the very beginning has enabled us to develop pragmatic solutions that can actually be implemented in the real world, whilst pushing the envelope on what is possible with the next generation of financial markets infrastructure.”

For more information about The Payment Association and its green paper, that will be launched in February 2022, visit: https://thepaymentsassociation.org/


About The Payments Association

The Payments Association (previously the Emerging Payments Association or EPA) is a community for all companies in payments, whatever their size, capability, location or regulatory status. Its purpose is to empower the most influential community in payments, where the connections, collaboration and learning shape an industry that works for all. It works closely with industry stakeholders such as the Bank of England, the FCA, HM Treasury, the PSR, Pay.UK, UK Finance and Innovate Finance.

Through its comprehensive programme of activities and with guidance from an independent Advisory Board of leading payments CEOs, The Payments Association facilitates the connections and builds the bridges that join the ecosystem together and make it stronger. These activities include a programme of monthly digital and face-to-face events including an annual conference, PAY360, the Emerging Payments Awards dinner, CEO round tables and training activities. The Payments Association also runs five stakeholder working project group covering financial inclusion, regulation, financial crime, cross-border payments and open banking. The volunteers in these groups represent the collective views of the industry and work together to ensure the big problems facing the industry are addressed effectively. The association also conducts original research which is made available to members and the authorities. These include monthly whitepapers, insightful interviews and tips from the industry’s most successful CEOs.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fuelled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

About paywith.glass

paywith.glass is the world’s first intelligent Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (iDC/EP) infrastructure. By combining Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Distributed Cloud technologies to create a globally scalable multi-Central Bank Digital Currency (mCBDC) architecture, this technology stack and its resulting FMI promotes global financial inclusion by empowering billions of people to transact instantly with full compliance, from anywhere on Earth and at any time.

It is effectively, the Internet, for the world’s money.

Media contact

Scott Girling-Heathcote, SkyParlour


+44 (0)330 043 1315

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