ECB’s Cipollone: Cash Needs to Adapt to Digital Consumer Preferences

24 April 2024

By Isabel Teles – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – European Central Bank Executive Board member Piero Cipollone on Wednesday said that the Eurosystem needed to react to consumers' habits becoming more digitalised.

Speaking at a retail payments conference at the ECB, Cipollone said, ‘There is no reason why public money [cash] should not go digital in keeping with all the other forms of payment. We need to adapt to evolving consumer preferences, which are increasingly digital.’

Digitalisation demanded that payment integration be preserved and that ‘our currency remains future-proof’, he said.

‘A digital form of cash holds the promise of preserving the pivotal role of central bank money’, he said in reference to the digital euro, currently in a preparatory phase.

The monetary system required retail payments to be innovative, integrated, and innovative, which called for the improvement of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), he said.

‘Today we need to take SEPA to the next level, at the point of interaction, through the digital euro and private pan-European payment solutions’, he said. ‘Public-private cooperation can achieve greater integration, innovation and independence in payments, to the benefit of consumers and payment service providers.’

During the Q&A session, he said, ‘Technology is changing very fast and people preferences are changing very fast. So, we need to rethink this partnership [between public and private sector] that is fit for this new environment. If we don’t do that, somebody else will.’