An ECB official points to the importance of physical stores accepting the digital euro

Fabio Panetta, member of Executive Committee of the European Central Bank, He said that discussion groups looking at the potential launch of a digital euro have suggested that the ability to use the digital currency in brick-and-mortar stores and online could be a key feature.

In a written statement released on Wednesday Panetta broke down the findings of the ECB’s focus groups on digital payment methods, commissioned in September 2021, which indicated that people would be more likely to accept a digital euro than in brick-and-mortar shops and online, and that this would allow for simple person-to-person payments . According to Panetta, all companies would have to accept a digital euro to see acceptance trends like the fiat euro saw 20 years ago.

“The introduction of euro banknotes has made it possible to pay with physical euros anywhere in the euro zone”, said Panetta. “So it’s no wonder people expect to be able to use the digital add-on for tickets wherever they can pay digitally or online.”

An ECB official points to the importance of physical stores accepting the digital euro
An ECB official points to the importance of physical stores accepting the digital euro

The results of the focus groups also showed that many citizens and merchants were unfamiliar with the digital euro and feared that cash would be eliminated as the number of use cases for this technology increased. But, After the concept was explained to them, members of the general public focus group said that the most desirable feature for a digital euro was that it would be “widely accepted in all types of physical and online stores”. while traders pointed out that high demand would be the biggest driver.

Panetta added that the ECB will consider these features along with privacy concerns in response to a central bank public consultation conducted between October 2020 and January 2021. He said that towards the end of 2022 the ECB would hold another round of focus groups including the digital euro and provide data that could be used to set relevant policies:

“We’re getting a clearer picture of what citizens and merchants want, so we can fine-tune all the design features of a digital euro before a possible issuance. And the co-legislators have a key role to play in allowing for more privacy, for example.

The European Central Bank has been investigating the development of a digital euro as interest in central bank digital currencies seems to be growing around the world.. The Central Bank of the Bahamas was the first nation to adopt a CBDC in October 2020. China began testing its digital yuan in 2020 and subsequently made it available to international athletes at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

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