Karen Silk: New Zealand's changing payments landscape and potential responses to it – a regulator's view

Speech by Ms Karen Silk, Assistant Governor and General Manager for Economics, Financial Markets and Banking of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, to Payments NZ's The Point 2022 conference, Auckland, 9 November 2022.

Central bank speech  | 
09 November 2022

Kia ora koutou katoa, greetings to you all,

Thank you for this opportunity to present a "regulator's view of the changing payments landscape in New Zealand and potential responses to it".

At six months in to my role this is possibly the last time I can claim to be a recent joiner at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua where it's my privilege to be an Assistant Governor and the General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets and Banking. In my career to date I have spent significantly greater time being regulated than regulating, but I'm enjoying the opportunity to reassess many familiar issues from new perspectives and in particular giving thought to how these may impact the prosperity and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

We are all working and living in a period of substantive change

My focus today will be on some of the challenges we see impacting New Zealanders' ability to benefit from reliable and efficient money and payment systems supporting innovation and inclusion, and on some of the work at the Reserve Bank to directly address and support others in overcoming these challenges.

My overarching message is that we are all working and living in a period of substantive change - one that offers enormous opportunity if embraced, and potentially greater risk if it is not.

Payments are the ebb and flow of money. Increasing attention is being given to both the global evolution in payment and money forms, to which New Zealand is not immune, and to our increasing demand for better, smarter and faster forms of payments.

This is not only the realm of advanced economies. Emerging economies are embracing new technologies supporting greater financial accessibility and inclusion - in some cases leapfrogging those more advanced still clinging to aged infrastructure and payment practices. Without greater ambition and innovation New Zealand will not avail itself of the opportunity that technological change is creating.