Latest global payments news, January 25, 2023 | PaymentsSource

Latest global payments news, January 25, 2023 | PaymentsSource

The European Central Bank has released details of how a digital euro would function, including a free app and standards for connecting consumers, banks, businesses and other parties. In a speech, Fabio Panetta, an ECB board member, said the app would offer contactless payments, QR code support and an online payment portal.  The ECB would also not set any limitations on who can pay with a digital euro or when and where it can be used, Panetta said. Panetta also said supervised intermediaries would be best placed to manage “conditional” payments and other advanced services, suggesting a role for private payment companies or commercial banks. The ECB also says the digital euro would not be “programmable money,” again suggesting private intermediaries would manage blockchain-powered smart contracts that trigger automatic digital payments when certain conditions are met. The ECB also said it would not have access to personal data, though governments would have to set details on how privacy would be governed. The document does not mean there will be a digital euro — Panetta said that decision would be made by the legislators, who would also determine how to handle anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing, tax evasion and other risks. Central bank digital currency projects are underway in most countries, though the process involves tests, legislation and work to ensure different CBDCs can work together. —John Adams 

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