E-krona pilot phase 3
The Riksbank's e-krona pilot is now releasing its third report, which examines how an e-krona could work if a decision is taken in the future to issue digital central bank money. The focus during Phase 3 has been to examine how the Riksbank could interact with other actors in the payment market to give the general public access to, and the possibility to pay with, an e-krona, how conditional payments can be made and whether a digital central bank currency can simplify cross-border payments.
The starting point for the e-krona pilot has been for the Riksbank to collaborate with payment service providers to ensure that the general public has access to the e-krona if one is issued. In a possible future e-krona cooperation model, the Riksbank can choose different levels of governance, from a low level where participants have considerable freedom to design services and interfaces with the general public, to a high level where participants have to follow a predefined and uniform interface and range of services.
A low level of governance could promote competition and innovation but, at the same time, could result in the e-krona being implemented in different ways, making it difficult for the general public to recognise it. A high level of governance would ensure that there is a uniform supply and uniformly-designed services for the e-krona, but could at the same time comprise an obstacle to competition and innovation.
The conclusion is that the Riksbank, together with the actors in the payment market, needs to strike a good balance between the overall goals of an e-krona and the needs of the general public and the market.
The e-krona pilot has also examined the possibility of making conditional payments in e-krona and whether it is possible to use the technical platform on which the pilot is based. The Riksbank carried out a successful test with a fictitious customer and car dealer. This involved a customer buying a specific car at an agreed price, but on the condition that the payment was only made when the customer was registered as the owner of the car.
The work has shown how the technical solution can make it possible to develop more advanced payment services for the benefit of users. However, conditional payments can mean that more data on the users is shared within the e-krona network. It is important that issues like this are investigated thoroughly, not least to protect personal integrity.
The e-krona pilot has also participated in a cooperation project with the Bank of Israel, Norges Bank and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which has examined whether digital central bank currencies could facilitate cross-border payment, which are often expensive and cumbersome. The work on this is described in a separate report which can be read here.