Aino Bunge on the final report of the Payments Inquiry

News Deputy Governor Aino Bunge today participated in a panel discussion at SNS/Swedish House of Finance on the final report of the Payments Inquiry, presented by Anna Kinberg Batra, who was responsible for the inquiry.

In 2019, the Riksbank submitted a petition to the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament) requesting an inquiry due to the rapid digitalisation of the payment market and rapidly declining use of cash. The Riksbank also requested a position be taken on the roles of the government and private sector in a digitalised payment market.

Ms. Bunge started by saying that the Riksbank would present its opinions of the inquiry later on in a consultation response but that she was already able to state now that it was positive that the inquiry includes proposals for how the payment market can be made more inclusive and that it proposes clarification on making payments using so-called ‘legal tender’.

“We have previously stated that it should be possible to purchase vital goods using cash as legal tender. Among other things, the inquiry now proposes making it possible to pay taxes and purchase medicines using cash. Our proposal also covers essential groceries and fuels.”

Finally, Ms. Bunge pointed out that she considers the work on the e-krona may perhaps be a little more urgent than the inquiry indicates, particularly in light of rapid international developments.

“Digitalisation is moving forward very rapidly and we are still seeing a decline in the use of cash. Not least from an emergency preparedness perspective, it is important to clarify the government’s role in the payment market to ensure that the general public is able to make payments even during crises or disruptions. Work on central bank digital currencies has accelerated strongly in recent years. For example, intensive work is now under way at the ECB on a possible digital euro. We ourselves have recently concluded a project in which we examined whether central bank digital currency could improve cross-border payments, which are often both expensive and complicated.”

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Updated 31/03/2023