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ECB Lays out ‘Reinvention of Money’ Strategy

Executive Board member Fabio Panetta also presented the European Central Bank’s vision for ensuring “efficient, inclusive and secure payments in the Digital Age.”

Panetta described the European Central Board (ECB) vision at the Future of Payments in Europe conference hosted by the Deutsche Bundesbank on Nov 27. At the conference, where German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called for the quick introduction of a digital Euro, Panetta told attendees that the payments revolution requires Europe to “stand ready to reinvent sovereign money.”

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the decrease in the use of cash, Panetta notes. However, digitization of payments in Europe currently rests on non-European international platforms. Reliance on these platforms led, in some segments, to high market concentrations among few players. This exposes Europe to several risks. These could limit choice on the part of consumers, leave the payments infrastructure vulnerable and deprive the authorities of any means of control.

“We must ensure that the payment market remains open to competition, including from European suppliers and technology,” Panetta declared.

Moreover, Panetta said “global tech giants” creating a payments “revolution” threaten the traditional system. Superior information collection by these giants, greater reach, and financial strength give these giants advantages. They also place the system and its users at risk. Unregulated, personal information security and technological robustness can suffer.

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