Sharon Donnery: The future of payments in Ireland and Europe

Opening remarks (virtually) by Ms Sharon Donnery, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, at the Irish Retail Payments Forum, Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin, 28 April 2021.

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

Central bank speech  | 
29 April 2021

Accompanying slides of the speech.

Good afternoon and I am delighted to welcome you today (virtually) to the Central Bank for what promises to be a stimulating discussion on the future of payments in Ireland and Europe.

One of the statutory objectives of the Central Bank of Ireland is to ensure that "payment, settlement, and currency systems are safe, resilient and efficient and that access to such systems is not restricted". Financial stability, a core mandate of the Central Bank, is heavily supported by, and dependent on, the smooth functioning of the payments system. These two objectives are at the core of our work on payments, today and into the future.

The payments system we use today, and innovations to come, are a far cry from what we were using when the Central Bank was established in 1943. However, the values of trust, resilience and access remain central to the safe delivery and functioning of our payments systems. Maintaining public trust in these systems is a cornerstone underpinning our mission to safeguard monetary and financial stability and to protect consumers. This includes maintaining trust in traditional payment instruments, such as banknotes, and new digital means of payment, along with the underlying payment infrastructures and systems.

Today I will first consider the environment we are in; the changing payments landscape, referring both to the impact on consumer behaviour from the pandemic, but also the pre-existing trends in terms of speed of payments and innovation. I will discuss our approach to these developments; working with our partners in Europe to strengthen the integration of our payments systems, maintaining trust and security, ensuring access and promoting choice. Finally, I will touch on a possible future of payments that might include a digital euro.