Spanish Central Bank Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos has said a digital euro is not a consumer priority and called for wider collaboration to develop the right type of electronic currency.
Hernandez de Cos, who leads the Bank of Spain, stressed that an electronic version of the euro should not be adopted until it is “convincingly demonstrated” that the digital euro is the “right solution.”
He said the Bank of Spain was open to exploring innovative solutions for currency and payments, but it would be important to ensure the new payment system is compatible with existing systems; to make sure technological and security standards are met; and to protect consumer interests.
“We must think carefully about the costs and benefits associated with both existing payment solutions and these possible innovations,” he said in a speech given during a meeting of European Union central bankers in Sintra, Portugal.
He also stressed that a digital euro should not be considered a priority for consumers.
“Our citizens have many different payment methods at their disposal,” he told the conference.
“We need a broader and deeper process of reflection to reach a shared understanding before thinking of advancing lab experiments to a broader implementation.”
Hernandez de Cos’ remarks come at a time when several central banks, such as the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of Japan, are testing out digital currencies in some form.
The Bank of Spain is taking part in the Eurosystem’s investigations into the potential of a digital euro as a complement to cash—but it is not actively developing a prototype.