The payments landscape is changing rapidly, driven by new and evolving technology, non-traditional players and new payment instruments. At the same time, central banks’ core objectives and functions – financial stability, monetary policy, banking supervision and financial services access – haven’t changed. Against this backdrop, central banks are evaluating and/or deploying new digital settlement solutions, including faster payments systems and central bank digital currencies. This discussion will explore these key topics, focusing on the role of the private sector, central banks and the importance of competition and innovation for the new payments landscape.

The discussion centres around the following questions:

  • Central banks play several roles in payments, including serving as catalyst, overseer, regulator and operator. Increasingly central banks are expanding their role into digital retail payments. What are some of the drivers for this new trend for banks? How do central banks decide when to operate retail payments? How do they ensure competition and resilience in retail payments markets when they are also key players? What are some of the best practices/lessons for central banks?
  • The pandemic has shown the importance of innovation and digitisation. Increased connectivity and user-friendly technology have helped reduce costs and bring financial services to more people and businesses. What are some of the current trends in payments innovation? How can central banks foster these trends and create an environment that ensures development? What support does the private sector need from policy-makers to innovate and compete?
  • When a central bank decides to be an operator, what are the norms and best practices for behaviour in relation to its other roles, so as not to stifle competition, pick winners or create potential conflicts of interest?

Charlotte Hogg, CEO, Visa Europe
Judith Obholzer, Managing Executive Public Policy, Vodacom
Peter Conti-Brown, Assistant Professor, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Lammer, Deputy Head of Secretariat, CPMI, Bank for International Settlements
Oded Salomy, Director of Payments Systems and Settlement, Bank of Israel

Moderated by Bhavin Patel, Senior Economist and Head of Fintech Research, OMFIF

Recorded on 20/05/21


This virtual discussion is part of the OMFIF Digital Monetary Institute. OMFIF, the global central banking think tank, proudly announces the launch of the OMFIF Digital Monetary Institute on 5 May. The OMFIF Digital Monetary Institute creates a high-level college which convenes key policy-makers, technologists, financiers and regulators to explore the challenges, opportunities and implications of digital finance in the 2020s. See more information on OMFIF’s DMI here. Please contact directly for membership details or register your interest below and we’ll be in touch.

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