"Digital Lari's Initial Rollout to Focus on Interbank Relations," Suggests Mastercard's Regional Director Davit Zgudadze
In a recent appearance on the "Business Partner at Peak Hour" program, Mastercard's Regional Director Davit Zgudadze discussed the prospects of digital Lari, emphasizing its initial implementation between commercial banks and the National Bank of Georgia.
Zgudadze highlighted that Georgia, particularly the National Bank, is keen on the development of a digital version of the national currency. "Our collaboration with USAID spans two key areas. One focuses on enhancing the e-commerce ecosystem, assisting businesses and consumers alike in boosting trade reliability and confidence in digital platforms. USAID's role in implementing trusted benchmark technology is pivotal in ensuring product and service credibility for small businesses," he explained.
The second focus area, in partnership with the National Bank, revolves around digital Lari, smart contracts, and the essentials for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) ecosystem. "The world is witnessing a growing interest in digital currencies among national banks. Mastercard is deeply involved, both in Georgia and globally, gathering expertise to facilitate workshops and provide technological insights necessary for digital currency implementation," Zgudadze added.
He believes that the most effective initial step for digital Lari would be within the realm of interbank transactions. "Starting with the digital Lari in transactions between commercial banks and the National Bank could streamline processes and transition from paper to electronic Lari, enhancing efficiency. Once we recognize the benefits and establish a robust ecosystem, banks can then develop technologies for individual users. Mastercard's role extends to facilitating cross-border transactions and operations using this technology," Zgudadze stated, outlining the phased approach to digital currency adoption in Georgia.