Digital currencies: A question of trust

DIGITAL payments are proliferating worldwide and are proving increasingly popular. In China, the mobile payments market is worth $5.7tn and is dominated by two behemoths, Alipay and WeChat Pay. Facebook wants to launch Libra, a global digital currency, later this year, a move which has prompted wider discussion about central bank digital currencies.

While the rise in digital payments is global, different regions have disparate needs. In advanced economies, services such as FedNow in the US and Faster Payments in the UK are evolving to meet the need for faster back-end payment solutions which can underpin retail payments. In emerging markets, the surge in mobile payments makes it much easier for workers to send remittances home to their families.

These changes in consumer behaviour and the surrounding policy debate make this the ideal time to present this OMFIF report, which centres on the findings of a global opinion poll on public trust in monetary institutions, payment characteristics and digital currency. The poll was conducted by Ipsos MORI across 13 advanced and emerging countries.

Our findings suggest that central banks are well-positioned to issue digital currency. In almost all countries, respondents indicated that they would feel most confident in digital money issued by the domestic monetary authority. Respondents globally expressed a lack of confidence in digital money issued by a tech or credit card company, particularly respondents from advanced economies.

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