The general director of the Bank for International Settlements (BPI), Agustín Carstens, believes that central banks should improve the security and efficiency of the new payment systems.
In an article in the BIS quarterly report, published this Sunday, Carstens says: "Central banks have a fundamental role in payment systems, and the changes that are taking place force them to redouble their efforts and assume a more prominent role. in improving the safety and efficiency of these systems. "
"Money and payment systems are based on trust in the currency - either in its physical or digital version - and only the central bank can guarantee that trust," adds Carstens, who was governor of the Bank of Mexico.
Carstens observes how digital innovation is disrupting the instruments and institutions that historically dominated payments, such as cash and banks.
These new payment systems "are faster, cheaper and easier to use," according to Carstens.
Many people still have limited access or do not have access to a bank or other type of account to make payments in countries with emerging economies, where it is expensive to open a bank account.
Some central banks are studying the possibility of creating their own digital currency for retail payments, following the emergence of projects such as the Facebook pound.
For example, the central banks of Denmark, Norway and Sweden study the creation of their respective electronic crowns.
The ECB has also said that it explores the possibility of creating a digital euro.
Ecuador develops a pilot electronic money project accessible to all Ecuadorians and Uruguay has a digital ticket project, which would have the same functions as physical tickets.
"Central banks around the world investigate a series of prototypes" and if the results of these experiments are shared internationally, it will create a clearer picture of the technological options that are appropriate for a digital currency, consider Raphael Auer (BPI) and Rainer Böhme (University of Innsbruck) in an article in the report.
"For a digital currency issued by a central bank for retail use to build trust and be widely usable, it must be safe, accessible and as convenient to use as cash, and it must also protect privacy," according to Auer and Böhme.