Fabio Panetta: On the edge of a new frontier - European payments in the digital age

Keynote speech by Mr Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, at the ECB Conference "A new horizon for pan-European payments and digital euro", Frankfurt am Main, 22 October 2020.

Central bank speech  | 
22 October 2020

Introduction

It is a great pleasure for me to open this conference on the new horizon for European payments.

Payments are indispensable to our daily lives and to the functioning of our economies. They allow money to fulfil its role as a dependable means of exchange and thereby help to maintain trust in our currency. As central bankers, we have therefore been tasked with ensuring the smooth functioning of payment systems.

Payments are undergoing fundamental change, driven by the digital revolution and its impact on the demand for new forms of payment, the provision of innovative payment services and the response of public authorities. Central banks have a key stake in the digital transition of payments and are adapting their policies to ensure that payments remain resilient, efficient and inclusive.

In my speech today I want to address the transformation that is taking place in the payments landscape. The European market is registering significant progress due to the digital revolution. However, the transition to a digital payments market may create inefficiencies and risks that require an adequate response by European authorities, in order to ensure that payments continue to serve citizens well.