Skingsley: Should the Riksbank issue e-krona?

  • Date:
  • Speaker: Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley
  • Place: FinTech Stockholm 2016
“Will we have e-krona in an e-wallet in the future, as naturally as we now have a wallet with cash in it? The less those of us living in Sweden use banknotes and coins, the clearer it becomes that the Riksbank needs to investigate whether we should issue electronic money as a complement to the money we have today.” This was the message from Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley, speaking at FinTech Stockholm on Wednesday.
Skingsley: Should the Riksbank issue e-krona?

Today almost everyone has access to the internet via computers, smartphones and tablets and the conditions are therefore good for launching more electronic forms of payment. "If the market can make use of the new technology to launch new and popular payment services, why shouldn't the Riksbank be able to do the same?" continues Ms Skingsley.

Moreover, there may be a need among the general public and companies to have access to money issued by the central bank, that is the Riksbank, in a future where cash is used less than it is today. "Even those living in Sweden who do not want to, may not or cannot have access to the banks' services should be able to manage their payments," said Ms Skingsley.

She pointed out that the Riksbank has not taken a decision on issuing e-krona. First, the Riksbank needs to investigate a number of technical, legal and practical issues. "The declining use of cash in Sweden means that this is more of a burning issue for us than for most other central banks. Although it may appear simple at first glance to issue e-krona, this is something entirely new for a central bank and there is no precedent to follow," said Ms Skingsley.

She also emphasised that if the Riksbank chooses to issue e-krona, it is not to replace cash, but to act as complement to it. "The Riksbank will continue issuing banknotes and coins as long as there is demand for them in society. It is our statutory duty and we will of course continue to live up to it," concluded Ms Skingsley.

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