Ecommerce Europe publishes its position paper on the digital euro proposal


In June 2023, the European Commission proposed a Regulation regarding the establishment of the digital euro. This proposal will create the legal framework for the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ongoing work on the establishment of a digital euro. The work at the ECB started back in 2021, firstly through an investigation phase, and since October 2023, has transitioned into a preparation phase. You can find more about the state of play of the digital euro here.

The digital euro as envisaged by the ECB would be a digital form of cash available to everyone in the euro area. It would facilitate any electronic payments in physical shops, online shops or from person to person. By being issued and managed by the ECB, the digital euro would be a digital central bank currency helping strengthen the monetary sovereignty of the euro area, safeguard the role of public money and maintain trust in the euro. In addition, it is anticipated to foster competition and innovation in the European payments sector which could have a positive impact for e-merchants.

Ecommerce Europe welcomes the creation and roll out of a digital euro and sees it as a positive opportunity. The digital euro has the potential to re-shape the European payments landscape and address its current shortcomings. We strongly believe that under the right conditions, the digital euro could increase efficiency, promote innovation and place Europe at the forefront of payments technology globally. The digital euro could also represent an important step for an inclusive digitalisation of our economy. However, the success of the digital euro, and ultimately its uptake among end-users, depends on two key factors:

  1. An incentive structure: rather than replicating the compensation framework of existing private payment methods, the digital euro legislative framework should set a new incentive structure. This is based on the fact that the infrastructure to be used will now be publicly managed by the Eurosystem, rather than privately. This should also come hand in hand with safeguards to keep the digital euro as affordable as possible for all e-merchants, including the smaller ones.
  2. Leveraging the unique infrastructure: the digital euro legislative framework must leverage the unique characteristics of this new public infrastructure to unlock benefits unavailable with legacy systems. By leveraging the many possibilities it can offer, from facilitating faster and more cost-effective transactions to fostering innovation, the digital euro can offer a more inclusive and consumer-centric solution, thereby maximising its societal impact and general uptake.

You can read Ecommerce Europe’s full position paper here.

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