BIS, central banks and the IIF invite private financial institutions to join Project Agorá

Press release  | 
14 May 2024
  • Project seeks to bring together a diverse set of regulated financial institutions. 
  • Applying institutions are expected to have digital innovation experience and to be active in cross-border payments.
  • Project Agorá will test if tokenised deposits can enhance the functioning of wholesale cross-border payments.

Project Agorá, launched by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a group of leading central banks and the Institute of International Finance (IIF), is inviting the private sector to join its exploration of how tokenisation can enhance the functioning of wholesale cross-border payments.

The call for private sector participation in Project Agorá has begun today and will be open until 31 May 2024. Interested private sector financial institutions should submit their application. Further details can be found in the application package.

Project Agorá is a joint public-private initiative of the BIS, Banque de France (representing the Eurosystem), Bank of Japan, Bank of Korea, Bank of Mexico, Swiss National Bank, Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the IIF as the private sector convener. 

The main goal of the project is to explore improving the speed and integrity of cross-border payments within the two-tiered banking system, as well as the functions of commercial bank money (deposits) and central bank money (reserves with central banks) for wholesale transactions. 

Participation criteria

Project Agorá is seeking to bring together a diverse group of regulated financial institutions with a significant role in wholesale cross-border payments from the seven participating jurisdictions and currency areas, representing various business models. Private institutions are expected to contribute technical expertise to the platform design and work together with the participating central banks to test various use cases. Applying institutions are expected to have experience with digital innovation initiatives. 

The complete list of eligibility requirements for different kinds of financial institutions and jurisdiction-specific requirements, the terms and conditions and the selection criteria can be found in the application package.   

The IIF and BIS will review all applications and select participating firms. The selected participants are expected to be published by early August.

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