Gemeinsam für zukunftsweisende Lösungen im österreichischen Zahlungsverkehr.

oenpay ist eine Initative der Österreichischen Nationalbank.
Unser Ziel ist es, gemeinsam mit Stakeholder:innen innovative Zahlungsverkehrslösungen zu entwickeln.


With do-gether, Thomas Nayer has created a network that easily connects those seeking help and those helping. He wants to offer a quick help in the digital age to promote social cohesion, because as Thomas says: “Things are simply better together!”

©Isabella Joech Photography

An interview with Thomas Nayer

I do believe that many people of my generation feel an inner drive to change the world positively. Since I was able to be part of a number of programs last year that aim to introduce young people to entrepreneurship, I know that there is a desire for change, especially in areas such as the environment, equality and education. Unfortunately, there are far fewer people who actually implement the idea, be it because of a lack of money, know-how or time.

Over the last year, I’ve been able to learn and experience a lot of new things while developing my idea. It started with the founding of my GmbH, the development of a business plan together with oenpay, appointments with my partners from Ahoi Kapptn! for programming my app and this continues to this day. In the last few months I have also been working on a marketing strategy. This was and is really learning by doing, a very interesting and exciting process.

I had the idea because I realized that I wasn’t equal to other people and that other people could easily help with many things, but I didn’t have the network. I also noticed that many people often need a little quick help, but there is no network for that. Nowadays, we need to come closer together again and help each other.

  1. Pursue a good idea and don’t let yourself be talked out of it (it depends on the implementation)
  2. Talk to as many people as possible about this idea
  3. Build a network
  4. Accept and incorporate good feedback
  5. Use opportunities in your own environment and dare to deviate from the model founding story – because no story is told twice.

Actually, you can’t talk about difficult aspects, because of course there were always ups and downs, but they exist everywhere. The important thing is to stick with it, keep your nerve when faced with difficulties and look for solutions. You should be aware that everything will probably not always be perfect at the beginning and that you may have to make improvements later, but that is no reason to lose your nerves and give up everything. Stay tuned and carry on is my motto!

Über do-gether:

do-gether, founded by Thomas Nayer, 21 years old and wheelchair user, wants to bring the term help into the digital age and be a platform for all kinds of assistance. With a user-friendly app, a simple payment system and a focus on safety and above all community, do-gether strives to change the way people can help each other quickly and easily.

You can download the app here for free!

The event series for FinTechs aims to provide a stage for success stories, but also focuses on the obstacles to be removed in order to promote innovation in the ecosystem.

FinTech Rocks! is the new event series organized by oenpay together with the FinTech community. With the events, we pursue the goal of specifically strengthening the FinTech ecosystem in Austria and contributing to networking and collaboration. FinTech Rocks! offers FinTechs in Austria a stage to present their success stories. The events also critically discuss which obstacles need to be removed in order to promote innovation in Austria.

The event series is primarily aimed at founders and startups which are active in Austria, as well as banks, investors, research institutions, payment service providers and everyone who is interested in the topic of FinTech.

A successful kick-off event

The very first kick-off event of the FinTech Rocks! series took place on June 26, 2024. It’s focus: the success factors most important for fintechs and startups in Austria.

In the scope of a panel discussion, moderator Paul Wessely, Senior Innovation Manager at oenpay, investigated the key factors for fintechs and startups together with the top-class panel – Philipp Bohrn from Bitpanda, Alexander Eisl from FINcredible, Kambis Kohansal Vajargah from the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Adrian Zettl from AustrianStartups, Johannes Sarx from Austria Wirtschaftsservice und Christian Wolf, Raiffeisen Bank International AG – and interested event participants.

The result:

  1. Innovative solutions: offering unique, customer-centric, and user-friendly financial solutions that address real pain points can set a startup apart from the competition.
  2. A good team: building a qualified and motivated team with expertise in finance and technology can move the company forward.
  3. Financing: ensuring adequate funding and prudent budget management of finances are critical to growth and sustainability.
  4. Strong partnerships: collaborations with established financial institutions, technology providers and other stakeholders can provide valuable resources, credibility and market access.
  5. Agility: FinTechs must be able to react quickly to changes in the market, adapt new trends and technologies in order to scale operations efficiently.
  6. Regulatory compliance: FinTechs must ensure they comply with all relevant laws and policies to avoid legal issues and gain trust.
  7. Security: given the sensitivity of financial data, robust cybersecurity measures and transparent practices are critical to building and maintaining customer trust.

FinTech Rocks! is planned as a long-term events initiative set out to take place quarterly in the future. The next event is expected to take place in September.

The study examines the current usage behavior of instant payments among the Austrian population in comparison with other payment methods and provides an outlook on the potential of instant payments and payment behavior in the future.

The study was developed in collaboration with payment transaction experts from banks and the market research institute marketmind and published by oenpay in March 2024.

What are instant payments?

In the EU, instant payments (German: Echtzeitüberweisungen) are transfers in euros based on the ‚SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme‘ (SCT Inst) through which money is made available in the recipient’s account within ten seconds of the payment order being issued. What is special about SCT Inst is that it runs around the clock, 365 days a year.

Study design

To represent Austria, 1,165 people were questioned about their age, gender, education and federal state in computer-assisted web and telephone interviews. The surveys were carried out between December 15, 2023 and January 19, 2024.

Key findings in a nutshell

In particular, the study provides valuable insights into the awareness and current usage of instant payments, their potential as well as motives for using them. We have summarised the most important findings for you below.

Usage and evaluation of instant payments
  • 88% of all respondents know instant payments; 32% used them in 2023.
  • Instant payments are currently used more often by men than women.
  • People aged 39 and below tend to use instant payments most frequently.
  • Instant Payments are most commonly used by people with very good financial stability.
  • More Instant Payments users are located in eastern Austria than in western Austria.
  • Instant payments are used at least once a week by 9% of Austrians.
  • Real-time payments are rated well by half of those surveyed.
  • There is a linear relationship between the us age the evaluation of means of payment
Motives for usage and potential of instant payments
  • Speed, verifiability, convenience, data security and acceptance are the most frequently cited advantages of instant payments.
  • Lack of additional benefit from the perspective of those surveyed, as well as additional costs, security concerns, the finality of the payment and poor budget control are considered reasons for negative or neutral evaluation of instant payments.
  • Among those who know instant payments, the future potential is greatest for users aged under 30; Women show the same interest as men.
  • Increasing familiarity with instant payments can increase usage. Budget overview and flexibility are also important characteristics that can positively influence the frequency of use.
  • From the respondents’ point of view, the most interesting areas of application for instant payments are financial support for families and friends, urgent financial transactions and payments on the Internet.
  • No additional costs, convenient access and lower costs than for other payment methods are the top 3 reasons for using instant payments among those surveyed.

The study results will be made available in full for download on our community platform oenpay – Payments Innovation HUB:

You are not yet a member of our community platform? Simply register here for free in advance to download the study.

On April 4 2024, the Austrian Payments Innovation Award was presented for the first time at an exclusive gala event.

Advancing digitalization is fundamentally changing the way we pay. This poses major challenges for the economy and society.

Therefore, oenpay aims to promote the digitalization of payments in Austria and beyond. As a hub of a cross-industry innovation community, oenpay supports the development of innovative, sustainable, inclusive and secure payment solutions together with all stakeholders involved.

New award for the local payments community

Under the motto “Together for innovation in payments”, oenpay launched the Austrian Payments Innovation Award for the first time this year under the patronage of the OeNB.

The prize was awarded by oenpay – Financial Innovation Hub (oenpay) under the patronage of the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) and with active support from Austrian banks, payment service providers and FinTechs. The award was established to recognize the best innovations in payments in Austria and to strengthen the domestic payments community.

„With the Austrian Payments Innovation Award, presented for the first time, we want to highlight and reward innovators, their ideas and exciting new payment solutions“.

Bernhard Krick, Managing Director oenpay

Over a period of four weeks, 22 innovation projects were submitted for the award. An overview of all submissions is listed below:

UnternehmenEingereichtes Projekt
Authentic VisionHolographic Fingerprint
Since 2021, the integration of the “Holographic Fingerprint” – a holographic, forgery-proof label – into debit cards in collaboration between UniCredit Bank Austria and Authentic Vision has been revolutionizing the protection of customer accounts.
BAWAG P.S.K. Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische PostsparkasseBAWAG Business Banking EBICS Web and App
BAWAG developed a web-based solution that can communicate not only with BAWAG-accounts, but also with all EBICS-enabled bank accounts in Europe.
Blocktrade is the first fully EU-regulated and gamified crypto platform, bringing together digital assets, gaming, and commerce.
BluecodePayment Roaming in Europe
The solution pursues the vision that users can pay with their usual mobile payment solution via the network of other European mobile payment providers.
BluecodeBluecode Instant
Bluecode has developed Bluecode Instant – a system that combines the advantages of instant payments and classic P2M transactions.
Die Zweite Wiener Vereins-Sparcasse‚Account with gambling protection‘ for 2. Sparkasse
With the initiative ‚Account with gambling protection‘, 2. Sparkasse is the only bank in Austria that has created the possibility of blocking gambling transactions (and only these).
Erste BankSmart- and Premiumcard
The “Smart and Premium Card” project, implemented in September 2022, was about redesigning the entire credit card portfolio of Erste Bank und Sparkassen.
Erste BankVISA Premiumcard Privat Banking
Together with the Erste Bank‘s private banking department, Erste Bank has replaced the previous private banking card with the VISA Private Banking Card and equipped it with new and exclusive features.
Erste BankGoogle Pay
Erste Bank und Sparkassen was the first major Austrian bank to launch Google Pay in December 2022.
fiskalyDigitale Beleglösung
With it’s digital receipt solution, fiskaly offers modern software that meets the needs of today’s retail industry.
Iknaio Cryptoasset AnalyticsIknaio Cryptoasset Analytics
Iknaio Cryptoasset Analytics GmbH is revolutionizing the fight against cybercrime and crypto fraud, while promoting financial inclusion by making cryptocurrencies safer to use.
IM PolymerThe first card to grow back!
For environmentally conscious companies, the biocard made of bioplastic is the sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional products made of petroleum plastic or petroleum plastic-coated paper.
K42 VenturesBANKpay+
BANKpay+ has launched a new version of its SEPAinstant+ SEPAid service, enabling real-time payments and bank status notifications across 5300+ European banks.
Linde Verlag und Georg TuderHandbook Payments 4.0
The 23-person team of authors from the areas of practice, law, science and supervisory authorities takes a closer legal look at the topics mentioned in the ‚Handbook Payments 4.0‘.
OberbankOrder foreign currency online
Oberbank offers customers the opportunity to order selected foreign currencies directly in the Oberbank customer portal and in the Oberbank app – in the future also with shipping directly to customers.
PaysafePaysafe: Alternative to the bank account
Account & Card is like a conventional account where customers receive a personal IBAN, a physical and a virtual Debit Mastercard.
P19P19 Payment Podcast
With the P19 Payment Podcast, P19 wants to bring payment closer to everyone – experts, laypeople and everyone in between – and shed light on all its facets.
Raiffeisen Bank InternationalVirtual IBAN (VBAN)
Virtual IBAN – a simple time and cost‐saving solution – can change the way our corporate customers or non-bank FIs do accounting by helping automate this process.
Raiffeisen Bank InternationalVirtual Accounts
Virtual Accounts fulfil the corporates’ desire to centralize their cash and liquidity management while always keeping a transparent overview on payment flows as well as simplifying bank account structures.
Raiffeisenbankengruppe Österreich & Raiffeisen Bank InternationalRaiPay
The RaiPay payment wallet offers customers access to a state-of-the-art payment solution for digital debit and credit cards; P2P payments, card management and much more, independent of other X-Pays such as Google Pay and Apple Pay but also of providers of payable wearables (Garmin, Swatch, …).
Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-WienInvestments in digital assets from one euro and without delay
By integrating Bitpanda Technology Solutions’s investment infrastructure into the mobile banking app ‚Mein ELBA‘,RLB NÖ-Wien gives its customers easy, fast and secure access to more than 2,500 digital assets (including cryptocurrencies and precious metals) starting at just one euro.
SocialCard is a cashless and direct donation option to homeless and poverty-stricken people, including those whose situation excludes them from cashless payments.
Overview of all projects submitted to the Austrian Payments Innovation Awards 2024.

Award ceremony at the Austrian Payments Innovation Gala

Innovation pays off! Three winning teams were awarded at the Austrian Payments Innovation Gala, which took place for the first time on April 4, 2024. The governor of the Austrian Central Bank, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Robert Holzmann, kicked off the event. The winning teams of this year’s Austrian Payments Innovation Awards received exciting prizes.

The high-tier expert jury, made up of nine payments, startup and innovation experts, evaluated the submitted projects based on oenpay’s four core values.

„As the hub of a cross-industry innovation community, we have set ourselves the goal of promoting the further development of payment transactions. In doing so, we ensure that new payment solutions contribute to our four values – innovation, sustainability, inclusion and security.“

Franz Deim, Managing Director oenpay

Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien (RLB NÖ-Wien) was awarded the first prize with their solution for investments in digital assets from one euro and without waiting times, which was implemented in cooperation with Bitpanda. By integrating Bitpanda Technology Solutions’ investment infrastructure into the mobile banking app ‚My ELBA‘, the winning solution provides customers with an easy, fast and secure access to over 2,500 digital assets (stocks & ETFs, raw materials, precious metals and Cryptos) from just one euro. Payments are processed very conveniently directly via the customer’s checking account.

As the main prize, the first place winners won a four-day learning trip to Silicon Savannah in Nairobi. The Learning Journey offers the winners exciting insights into the startup ecosystem and digital transformation in East Africa. In addition to discussions, field visits and networking, participants can explore the regional payment ecosystem – from M-Pesa Mobile Money, to banks and FinTechs.

SocialCard was able to secure the second place with its solution for a cashless and direct donation option to homeless and poverty-stricken people (including those who are excluded from cashless payment transactions due to their situation). Using a QR code, people can receive donations without an account or digital device. Donations can be made via credit card and soon also via the monetary value of unused loyalty points from various loyalty programs for customers. The person can then redeem these donations with partners for services and everyday products. In a pilot project, SocialCard has already been successfully implemented as a cashless payment option for the street newspaper “Apropos” in Salzburg.

The third place went to Bluecode for their innovation project Payment Roaming in Europe, which enables seamless payments across national borders. Bluecode has founded the European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA) together with other European mobile payment solutions. The solution pursues the vision that users can pay with their usual mobile payment solution via the network of other European mobile payment providers. The principle of roaming, which is already known from telecommunications, hence, is also used in payments. In an already successful pilot test, it was shown how the mobile payment solutions Bluecode (Austria and Germany), TWINT (Switzerland) and Bancomat Pay (Italy) pay at each other’s acceptance points.

The second and third placed teams were also awarded smaller prizes.

Die Gewinnerteams des diesjährigen Austrian Payments Innovation Awards 2024.
The winning teams and jury members of this year’s Austrian Payments Innovation Award 2024.

You can find further impressions of the Austrian Payments Innovation Gala here:

As part of the ‚Virtual Design Challenge‘ hackathon, oenpay was searching for innovative design concepts of a virtual space in the metaverse in order to make the topic of payment transactions a virtual experience. Congratulations go to the winners Michael Baumgartner, Daniel Gosterxeier and Nikolaus Stickler, who were able to convince with their idea of a modular, spatially unlimited metaverse world.

Die Gewinner der Virtual Design Challenge und oenpay bei der Preisübergabe
At the award ceremony of the Virtual Design Challenge at oenpay (from left to right): oenpay Managing Director Franz Deim with the winners Nikolaus Stickler and Daniel Gosterxeier from NiftyTwins, oenpay Senior Innovation Manager Mirjana Covic and oenpay Managing Director Bernhard Krick

The winners of the oenpay – Virtual Design Challenge were announced! The entrepreneurs Michael Baumgartner, Daniel Gosterxeier and Nikolaus Stickler were able to secure the first place with their creative design concept. As part of the winners’ presentation on 13th October, oenpay awarded them the first prize including 2,000 euros in prize money.

The winning idea convinced oenpay with its innovative design concept in the form of a coin with surrounding themes and an event pavilion inspired by the oenpay logo. ‚We particularly liked the modular structure and the graphic design of the creative design matching the oenpay branding,‘ says oenpay Senior Innovation Manager and Project Manager Mirjana Covic, ‘The elaborated design concept offers us many opportunities to test and develop new applications in virtual reality for payment transactions together with our partners.‘

The winners in a joint interview

In a joint interview, the winners Michael Baumgartner, Daniel Gosterxeier and Nikolaus Stickler give an insight into their professional careers and their thoughts on the Virtual Design Challenge.

NiftyTwins is Austria’s first premium NFT agency. In addition to creative concepts for a virtual presence, we also offer companies workshops and the practical implementation of virtual business models and locations. From real estate to law firms, all implementations can be developed and implemented IN-HOUSE.

At NiftyTwins, we are always looking for new challenges. The concept of oenpay particularly appealed to us because it rethinks traditional payment transactions and pursues innovative approaches. We are very proud of our successful concept and winning the first prize.

We are fascinated by the metaverse and virtual reality for a variety of reasons. We are convinced that once the technical hurdles of the metaverse are overcome, a real revolution in the field of virtual worlds and business models is imminent. Some companies have already started investing in this future, and international clients are working with us to figure out how their brands can gain a foothold in the virtual age.

During the creative implementation for oenpay, our focus was on creating an open and inviting space. A space that creates trust and takes people on an exciting journey through the topic of payment transactions. All on-site information should also be reduced as much as possible and brought to the point quickly. The goal is to discover and have fun with new technologies.

The biggest challenge in designing this space was to present the complex topic of ‚payment transactions‘ in an understandable and engaging way. At the same time, we had to ensure that the ‘oenpay‘ brand was adequately represented in this virtual space and that the technical limitations of the various metaverse platforms were observed. However, due to our many years of experience and technical expertise, we have been able to meet these challenges.

About the Virtual Design Challenge

As part of the Virtual Design Challenge, oenpay is pursuing the goal of tapping into the potential of virtual reality (VR) for itself and partner companies and making new applications a virtual experience. The innovation initiative is particularly interested in researching new payment solutions that can be used to process digital transactions in virtual space securely and easily. The virtual space is intended to support this mission through a modular structure and versatile functions. The design had to be futuristic, in line with oenpay’s brand identity and take up the topic of “payment transactions” in an innovative way.

oenpay has supported four students from HTL Hollabrunn on their journey to launch their own company. We give insights into the collaboration with the four entrepreneurs and how it developed.

The aspiring entrepreneurs of "Exdome" - Stefan Brodar, David Draschkowits, Lukas Harrer and Lukas Poppinger.
The aspiring entrepreneurs of “Exdome” – Stefan Brodar, David Draschkowits, Lukas Harrer and Lukas Poppinger.

In October 2021, the team „Exdome“ presented their idea of a personalized, 3D-printed card case in the scope of the initiative „Youth Entrepreneurship Week“. Since then the aspiring young entrepreneurs – Stefan Brodar, Lukas Poppinger, Lukas Harrer and David Draschkowits – have been supported by oenpay and have been working together with the innovation initiative on the development of a ‘digital hardware wallet’.

What is a ‘digital Hardware-Wallet’?

A digital wallet allows its owners to complete payment transactions, for instance by debit or credit card in store or online in a web shop. While digital wallets are mostly made available as a ‘mobile app’ on the smartphone (mobile wallet), they can also come in the form of a software program on the PC or in the web browser.

Digital wallets can usually be used in many ways and, in addition to the payment function, can also store customer cards, tickets (boarding passes, concert tickets) or vouchers, for example.

A hardware wallet is a special form of digital wallet; it is a physical device and you do not need a smartphone to use it.

oenpay wants to inspire young minds for innovation and entrepreneurship in payments

oenpay wants to proactively shape the payment solutions of tomorrow. In its mission, oenpay encourages collaboration not only with with banks, companies and fintechs, but also focusses on supporting young talents and their ideas.

oenpay has been involved in the ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ initiative in various roles since autumn 2021. The ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ supports young people in the development of new ideas and projects and is a joint initiative presented the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Austrian Economic Chamber, Austrian Startups and IFTE – Entrepreneurship4Youth. Over 3 ½ days, young talents are invited to dip into the world of entrepreneurship and to work on solutions of the future.

They get the tools they need from trainers and people from the startup community. In addition, they are supported by their dedicated teachers. The associations Austrian Startups and IFTE play a key role in the organization and implementation of the “Youth Entrepreneurship Week”.

Find more information on the current ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ here.

Exdome in an interview with oenpay

Christoph Cordt, Project Manager at oenpay for digital hardware wallet project, discussed in an interview with the Exdome team and oenpay Managing Director Bernhard Krick how the project evolved and how successful it may be in the future according to oenpay.

Bernhard, how did you find out about the students?

Bernhard Krick: ‘At a ‘Demo Day’ of the Youth Entrepreneurship Week at HTL Hollabrunn, during which the students presented their ideas, the team called ‘Exdome’ caught my attention. They presented a 3D-printed, customizable card case to safely store payment cards and loyalty cards. They performed very confidently and had even developed a prototype. The whole team made a very good impression on me. On that day, their idea scored the good second place.’

How did the ‘Digital Hardware Wallet’ project come about?

Bernhard Krick: ‘While I wasn’t immediately interested in the card case idea, it gave me the idea of ​​designing a ‘hardware wallet’ combining the functions of a digital wallet and a payment card. This wallet should enable people who have difficulties using a smartphone to complete digital payment transactions safely and easily. So I approached the students and asked them if they were interested in working out this modified idea together with oenpay and shared my contact details with them.’

How exactly did the long-term cooperation come about?

Stefan Brodar: ‘A week later, we emailed Bernhard to set up a meeting. oenpay then offered us an internship during which we could work out the concept of the digital hardware wallet. We liked the idea and considered the intership an amazing opportunity to gain experience; so we accepted and successfully completed our internship in the summer of 2022. Moreover, after our internship, we were given the opportunity to take part in a hackathon at the National Bank in autumn 2022.’

Lukas Harrer: ‘Stefan, Lukas and David approached me and told me abouth the hackathon. The challenge asked to develop a concept for the transaction of ‘digital change’ to be used to make donations. They asked me if I would like to participate and support them with software development. I joined them immediately. We were able to score second place with our solution. Participating in the hackathon was exciting and we had a lot of fun.’

David Draschkowits: ‘In return, we won a full-day personal tour through the Oesterreichische Nationalbank conducted by different departments and their employees during which we gained insights into the organization and processes. In addition, we were given the chance by oenpay to continue working on our ‘digital hardware wallet’ project.’

Lukas Poppinger: ‘Since April 2023, we are employed by oenpay as freelancers which allows us to independently develop further our project and to seek support from oenpay staff when needed. With the help of oenpay, we aim to implement and launch our concept and prototype on the market some day. This keeps us motivated to constantly improve our idea.’

Bernhard, how would you rate the work which has been done so far and, in your opinion, how likely will the project be successful?

Bernhard Krick: ‘I am still very excited to see the commitment of these aspiring young entrepreneurs. The team has already come a long way together, they have acquired knowledge and worked out a solid concept. The cooperation in the team and with oenpay has worked out great without any problems. The involvement of the potential target group will be particularly important when developing a prototype of the hardware wallet. I also do believe that there is a need for such a product. Digitization is progressing at a great pace. Above all, this also influences the way in which we will pay for goods and services in the future. It is particularly important to oenpay that everyone has access to digital payment transactions and that nobody is left behind in the digital transformation. It will take some time to finishe the product concept. But if they continue to work well together as a team in the future, then they will be successful. Of course, oenpay will continue to support them to see them grow.’

The Metaverse and Web3 are emerging concepts that create virtual worlds and will revolutionize the ways in which we use the Internet and interact with each other online. Launching the ‚Virtual Design Challenge‘, oenpay aims  to seize the potential virtual reality holds for payments.

Virtual Reality unlocks new opportunities for business and society

Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a computer-generated, immersive reality. The applications of VR enable new forms of collaboration in which people can interact and work together no matter where they are. While these virtual spaces and worlds are already being put to use in some industries (e.g. in companies, education, entertainment), they hold the potential to support economy and society in all aspects of life.

VR is often associated with the terms ‚Metaverse‘ and ‚Web3‘. The Metaverse refers to an augmented virtual reality in which the digital and physical worlds merge. In this immersive and interactive environment, users can act as avatars and communicate with each other in real time. Web3, also known as the next, decentralized development stage of the web, among other things, is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and enables the tokenization of real and virtual assets. It enables the creation and interaction with digital content, services and assets in a decentralized and transparent way.

‚Virtually immersive worlds are a relatively new concept which accelerates innovation. Yet, Virtual Reality holds far more potential than we can currently grasp‘, says oenpay Managing Director Franz Deim, ‚We believe that these technologies will play a vital role in the future if we develop new solutions together to fully seize the advantages of the virtual space.‘

oenpay considers these technologies a vital asset in driving innovation in payments. Hence, the innovation initiative will investigate and develop further new solutions in the virtual space in the scope of various projects.

‚Metaverse‘ for payments

In the scope of the hackathon ‚Virtual Design Challenge‘, oenpay is searching for innovative design concepts of a virtual space. In doing so, the innovation initiative aims to seize the potential of VR for itself and partner companies and to make new applications a virtual experience.

oenpay is particularly interested in researching new payment solutions that can be used to process digital transactions in virtual space securely and easily. A virtual space is intended to support this mission by providing a modular structure and versatile functions. The design should be futuristic, correspond to the brand image of oenpay and visualize the topic ‚payments‘ in an innovative way. The concept must have a modular structure so that the virtual space can be flexibly expanded.

‚Building our own virtual space, we see a great opportunity to shape the way we pay virtually in these immersive worlds‘, says oenpay Managing Director Bernhard Krick. ‚However, we can only achieve this by constantly monitoring and testing new payment functions and ideas and by making them virtually accessible and tangible to our community.‘

The best idea will be awarded prize money of EUR 2,000. In addition, the most innovative ideas will then be analyzed, elaborated and maybe even implemented together with oenpay.

The Metaverse and its technologies will develop into a true game changer in many areas of life, taking us into fascinating new worlds. This creates numerous new opportunities in a wide variety of industries. At oenpay, we understand the great potential of this revolutionary technology and follow the way in which it will change all areas of life. In order to explore the strengths and weaknesses ourselves, we have embarked on an adventure: oenpay’s journey into the metaverse.

In the scope of ‘oenpay’s Hitchhikers guide to the Metaverse’, we will share with you our insights and learnings which we have gathered on our journey to the virtual world. We invite you to join us on this journey.

What is the Metaverse?

The term “metaverse” was first used in Neal Stephenson’s novel ‘Snow Crash’, published in 1992, and became better known through ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline. It refers to a digital universe of interconnected virtual worlds in which people can interact in a variety of ways.

To date, there is not a single, all-encompassing metaverse, but many fragmented versions, often driven by different technology companies.

Current technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have built the foundation; however, the concept is still in its infancy. While it promises great potential in areas like education and the arts, there are also privacy and security concerns.

Which technologies should be applied in the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is driven by a variety of technological developments and concepts. Aside from the XR technologies, here are some other key technologies and concepts that will likely be critical to the development and implementation of the Metaverse:

XR combines real and virtual elements with human-machine-interaction whereas AR includes virtual information in the real world, such as shown in Pokémon GO. VR fully emerges it users in a digital environment and is mostly used for entertainment purposes, but is also applicable to other industries, such as medicine.

To create realistic virtual worlds, one requires technologies to scan real-life objects and environments and transfer them into digital models. This allows for the creation of hyper-realistic virtual worlds.

To ensure a fully immersive experience, users not only need to see and hear, but be able to feel things around them. Haptic technologies, such as VR gloves or suits offer physical feedback which allows users to feel connected to their environment.

These technologies enable secure and transparent transactions in the metaverse. Crypto tokens could serve as a monetary unit for the purchase of digital goods and services, in addition, blockchain technology can be used to securely store property, identity and other data.

AI systems could be used in the metaverse to control NPCs (non-player characters), provide personalised experiences, or analyse user interactions to dynamically adjust environments.

As the metaverse requires huge amounts of data and computation, cloud and edge computing technologies will be necessary to perform data processing efficiently and close to the end user.

We anticipate that there will be many different metaverse platforms in the future. Therefore, the ability to share data, avatars, objects and experiences between them is crucial. This requires standards and protocols that enable the smooth exchange of data.

Overall, the Metaverse will require many technologies to interact with each other to create a seamless and immersive experience for the user. It is a multidisciplinary endeavour where software, hardware and design are closely intertwined.

Off to the Metaverse!

But where exactly is the Metaverse, how do you get there and what do you need? If you want to take a trip to the metaverse, you have to make some preparations. This ranges from choosing and purchasing the appropriate technical equipment (e.g., VR goggles), selecting a suitable virtual world and its applications to designing your own virtual environments. 

But everything step by step – follow us step by step on the journey into the metaverse. Stay tuned!

OeNPAY and ABC Research have developed a concept for a token economy ecosystem that rewards carbon emissions cuts and supports climate friendly projects. The concept is set to be implemented via prototyping and tested further in cooperation with corporate partners.

Incentivizing individuals to change behavior

Greentoken (project name) is a special-purpose reward token. Special-purpose tokens provide an incentive for individuals to contribute to a collective goal by changing their behavior, e. g. reducing negative externalities on a collective good. At present, the Greentoken concept focuses on reducing carbon emissions from shopping as an example, but it can also be used for other sustainable causes.

The concept addresses four dimensions: Greentoken creates awareness of own behavior, provides an incentive for changing it, supports sustainable projects and encourages others to get involved, too.

Greentoken raises awareness of own behavior

At the heart of the concept is a smartphone app that determines, and allows users to clearly see, the carbon footprint of their shopping. The system is intended to work with several means of payments (debit or credit card, e-wallet etc.) for shopping in-store and online. This allows users to get to grips with the carbon footprint of their shopping habits. People need detailed information about the carbon footprint of what they buy so they can make informed decisions. 

Greentoken rewards positive behavior changes

Users who change their behavior for the better are rewarded with Greentokens. Specifically, they are rewarded for buying lower emissions products to reduce the carbon footprint of their day-to-day shopping. They can save the Greentokens collected this way in a digital wallet in the smartphone app.

Greentoken supports sustainable projects

Users can then donate these Greentokens to sustainable projects. Eligible projects have undergone a thorough vetting process and are certified to the highest standards. The users themselves decide which project they wish to donate to (focus on regional projects).

Greentoken encourages others to get involved

For their efforts and donations, users are awarded with digital badges (NFTs). By displaying these badges on social media, they invite others to join the good cause, too.

How token economy ecosystems work

Token systems are based on the blockchain technology. Put simply, blockchain is a special type of distributed database in which several independent users and network node operators jointly manage transactions in a tamper-proof manner.

Tokens are an extension of blockchain technology and form the basis for token-based applications. They can be created on a blockchain, which facilitates the development of token economy ecosystems – networks of relations in communities that pursue a common goal. Tokens can be conceptualized as containers of rights: They represent a right or authorization that the owner can exchange or use within a system. As tokens can be transferred, exchanged and programmed according to certain rules, they can be designed to suit different purposes.

In some respects, token economy ecosystems are fundamentally superior to traditional models.

  • Ease of use: Tokens make asset transactions within the ecosystem simple and efficient. Users benefit from uncomplicated access to the tokens’ functions.
  • Nudging user behavior: Reward tokens can help people change their habits by rewarding desired behaviors.
  • Fostering collaboration: Tokens are programmed to support the creation of social and economic organizations by fostering collaboration within the system.
  • Incentivizing early adoption: Tokens can be programmed to directly reward early adopters (e. g. by limiting supply).

The challenges ahead

In the next project phase, the Greentoken system will have to tackle two main challenges: correctly establishing the carbon footprint of new shopping habits and ensuring sustainable financing of the Greentoken system. Approaches to how to solve both challenges are already available and will be elaborated further during prototyping in cooperation with corporate partners.

Über ABC Research GmbH

The Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) is a COMET competence center headquartered in Vienna. Its mission is to be Austria’s prime science hub for blockchain and related technologies. Blockchain technology facilitates the secure cooperation of different participants. It lends itself to a broad range of applications, from digital currencies to industry, finance, energy and logistics solutions to public services.
ABC is an interdisciplinary and application-oriented research institution dedicated to all aspects of blockchain research with a special focus on technological, commercial and legal issues. As one of Austria’s COMETs (Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies), ABC receives funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy and the provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria and Vorarlberg. The COMET program is managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

The jury selected Karen Schwien as the winner of the “e-IDentify yourself” OeNPAY Electronic Identity Challenge. Her idea of a secure, modular metaverse identity stood out from the other 156 entries and was honored with EUR 3,000 in prize money. In this interview, the winner talks about her motives and presents her idea.

The winning idea in a nutshell

The use case would provide users with a secure electronic identity in the metaverse or web3, but without them having to divulge too much personal information. Specifically, Karen proposes a modular eID solution: While it is a fully-fledged subjective digital identity, its scope is tailored to different contexts, so it does not necessarily point to a real person. This would go a long way towards enhancing individual user security and privacy in web3.

Interview with the winner, Karen Schwien

I think digital identities are a key future topic for two main reasons: They provide the foundation for secure and fair digital transactions, and they allow people to experiment in the digital realm and create different identities for different contexts.

I am fascinated by digital innovation, and the metaverse has been all the buzz since Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation. So I have been paying increasing attention to the metaverse and web3. This field of application is especially exciting for eID solutions, as it opens up many new opportunities. For instance, protecting your online identity is essential when handling crypto assets, which may continue to play a significant role in web3. In my academic work, I focus on subjective identities in the digital sphere. Ensuring security is one aspect, experimenting and playing around is another. I have been very much inspired by the book Coming of Age in Second Life, which describes what matters to people in 3D worlds, how they reinvent themselves and how analog and digital identities influence each other.

I am fascinated by digital innovation and communicate about it with other people on different networks. I have been able to pursue this fascination in my professional life, too, first as an IT consultant and now in a project on platform-based online work. Digital identity has come up as an issue time and again, for instance in connection with cybercrime and hate speech on social media, privacy, efforts to simplify transactions, identity verification and the creation of new identities, e.g. in gaming.

The metaverse opens up an enormous space for new ideas. Co-creating the future of this digital world is especially fascinating to me. On the one hand, it offers advantages in that it facilitates online communication that encompasses body language or in that it provides new venues to meet, communicate and work together for people who never would have met otherwise, and other opportunities that the web 2.0 and the analog world just do not offer. On the other hand, this world can also give rise to negative effects: crime and areas of legal vacuum, high energy consumption and the associated environmental problems. Right now, we cannot tell whether the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages.

I work as a research associate for the Crowdwork project and at the professorship for vocational and occupational education at Helmut Schmidt University. After completing my studies in business administration and business psychology, I worked as a change management consultant in the IT sector.

All submitted ideas for the “e-IDentifizere dich!” – OeNPAY Electronic Identity Challenge can be found here.