Whether online banking, payments via smartphone or with the giro card – cashless payment methods have long been taken for granted. The European Central Bank (ECB) has also been thinking for some time about how the euro can be transferred to the digital world. The result of these considerations: a digital euro. The virtual counterpart is supposed to serve as an anchor of stability for the well-tried coins and notes. To the state of affairs.
The ECB’s idea
The topic of the digital euro has been gaining momentum since October 2021. Since then, experts from the ECB and the national central banks have been dealing with the design of the supplementary payment procedure around the digital twin of cash. After a two-year examination phase, a decision is to be made in autumn 2023 – for or against the digital euro.
But what is behind all the deliberations? After giro money, GiroCard, Visa, Sepa Instant and Co., does our society even need another digital payment alternative? The ECB is leaning strongly in the direction of “yes”. Because the share of cash payments continues to decline sharply. The digital euro would provide consumers with an electronic form of central bank money that would be accepted throughout the euro area. This makes everyday life easier and at the same time takes into account the increasing preference for cashless means of payment.
Analogue and digital – a strong Euro duo
This does not sufficiently answer the question of why another cashless payment solution needs to be introduced at all. The digital euro as a complement to cash is destined for greater things: It could ensure the monetary sovereignty of the euro area, increase the efficiency of the European payment system and thus take on an important social function. In addition, the ECB wants to offer a more secure and reliable means of payment with the digital counterpart to banknotes and coins, which also protects the privacy of users more strongly.
Payment in practice should hardly differ from previous possibilities – at best it should improve. The use of the digital euro is conceivable via banking apps, for example. Compared to previous cryptocurrency, however, users do not have to fear data collection and sale, as the digital euro does not pursue any commercial purposes. In addition, faster payments – online as well as offline – should be possible.
Europe-wide payment solution found? Retail open-minded!
Another means of payment that can be used throughout Europe – that could be the future of the digital euro. Probably in 2025 at the earliest. Until then, the alternative will be put through its paces. But one thing is already clear: in the end, the digital euro will by no means replace classic coins and notes, but only complement them in a meaningful way.
How shoppers accept the new payment option will also determine the future of the digital euro in retail. First of all, retailers are open to the introduction – and even expect advantages. A uniform payment method across Europe could have a positive effect at the point of sale as well as in e-commerce. The issue of fees and the settlement with system owners could also change for the better with the digital euro.
Cash remains a reality
However, it is important to note that the digital euro is still a future scenario. Cash, on the other hand, is real and tangible. This also means that the challenges retailers currently face due to costly cash procurement or the complexity of the various processes in cash logistics are tangible. Therefore, thoughts should now focus on solutions that map these processes securely, transparently and significantly more efficiently. Our software solutions for the POS start here. With a strong basis, we can then also look to the future.
You can find all our products for future-oriented cash logistics in retail here.
Would you like to make your cash logistics more efficient? We will be happy to support you!