Victoria Cleland: Cross-border payments - innovating in a changing world

Speech by Ms Victoria Cleland, Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Innovation of the Bank of England, at the Central Bank Payments Conference, virtual, 13 October 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
15 October 2020


I was delighted to be invited to speak at this event, during such an exciting time in central banking and the payments industry. I am sorry that we are unable to all meet face to face, not least as it was originally hoped for this conference to take place in Athens. I cannot offer you the Greek sunshine, but I would like to introduce some Greek philosophy to get us started. Plato taught us that 'Necessity is the Mother of Invention' - this year's virtual conference is a great example of that. So thank you to Jean-Michel and the team for their flexibility and ingenuity in holding this conference during such challenging times.

And necessity and invention are at the heart of payments too. Every one of us needs to make payments. While the medium of exchange might have undergone considerable invention and innovation since Plato's day, the importance of being able to exchange money safely and efficiently has not. The agenda for this conference - covering topics such as cyber security, artificial intelligence and digital currencies - gives an insight into the scale and pace of innovative thinking currently taking place in the payments industry.