Australia is currently in the process of exploring the potential for blockchain technology to create ’smart money’ to be used in its National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), its federal government revealed in an October 9, 2018, press release.
‘Smart Money’ Trial Explores the Potential for Blockchain
CSIRO’s Data61 and the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have developed an app as part of a trial to explore the potential for blockchain technology to create ’smart money,’ through using the case study of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), CSIRO announced in an October 9 press release.
The trial is called ‘Making Money Smart’ and aims to enhance the experience of participants and service providers in the NDIS through the creation of programmable money. In CSIRO’s press release, Data61 has defined smart — or programmable — money as a currency that “knows what it can be spent on, who it can be spent by, and when it can be spent”: a blockchain-enabled digital token that can be used for payments according to binding, pre-specified rules.
According to Data61, the NDIS was targeted as the first case study for the proof-of-concept as “it involves highly personalized payment conditions.” The proof of concept has benefited from advice and feedback from government and industry leaders, and is currently undergoing user testing with NDIS participants and carers, the release explained.
(Source: Huffington Post)
Reinventing Payments Across the Economy
“Programmable money represents an opportunity to re-envisage how we think about money and how payments function across the economy,” Sophie Gilder, Head of Experimentation and Blockchain, Innovation Lab, CBA said in the release.
In the NDIS, participants have individualized plans that can contain multiple budget categories – each with different spending rules. The prototype app will support participants to manage their plan by enabling them to find, book and pay for services from NDIS service providers, eliminating the need for paperwork or receipts.
Dr. Mark Staples, Senior Principal Researcher in the Software and Computational Systems program at CSIRO’s Data61 said that the app will not only benefit customers but will also drastically reduce the administrative burden involved in managing payments on such a large scale.
Staples also added that welfare systems aren’t the only place where such technology could be implemented. He noted in the press release that programmable currency could reduce friction and help firms to “create new business models and innovative ways of delivering and paying for products and services.”
A Making Money Smart report, co-authored by CBA and Data61, will be released in November 2018. In the report, the companies will examine the design benefits and limitations of the blockchain based system for the NDIS use case, including user feedback and recommendations on future applications.