International collaboration on central bank digital currencies and cross-border payments
Published: 3 November 2021
At the start of 2020, an international working group was formed on behalf of the central bank governors from a group of countries, including Sweden, to share lessons, create a common stance and discuss the way forward with regard to central bank digital currencies that are accessible to the general public. The working group includes, apart from the Riksbank, also the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of Canada, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group also collaborates with the BIS Innovation Hub. The G7 countries also began to discuss the issue of central bank digital currencies. In March 2021, an expert group was formed within the G7, with the purpose of developing common principles for the design of central bank digital currencies. The Riksbank and the central bank in Switzerland were also asked to take part.
During 2020, the G20 countries initiated a plan to remedy some of the problems contributing to cross-border payments still sometimes being slow, expensive and complicated (see Cross-border payments need to be faster and cheaper). This resulted in a number of issues that were divided into 19 building blocks. The work aimed at making cross-border payments more efficient has been divided over a number of organisations. The Bank for International settlements (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), which establishes international standards for the financial infrastructure, is responsible for several building blocks that aim to improve the existing payment systems. As a member of the CPMI, the Riksbank was given responsibility for heading up the work in the three building blocks known as “Future of Payments”, and examining how central bank digital currencies, the type of crypto currency known as stablecoins and new, innovated payment infrastructures can be used to simplify cross-border payments.