The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced the members of the Market Advisory Group for the digital euro project.
The Eurosystem’s High-Level Task Force on Central Bank Digital Currency called for expressions of interest on 14 July, following the Governing Council’s approval of the digital euro project investigation phase. After assessing applications, the selection committee appointed 30 senior business professionals with proven experience and a broad understanding of the euro area retail payments market.
“I am pleased that many high-quality experts from the private sector are willing to contribute to the digital euro project”, says ECB Board Member Fabio Panetta, Chair of the High-Level Task Force. “Their expertise will facilitate the integration of prospective users’ and distributors’ views on a digital euro during the investigation phase.”
Members of the Market Advisory Group will act in a personal capacity, advising the Eurosystem on the design and distribution of a potential digital euro from an industry perspective, and on how a digital euro could add value for all players in the euro area’s diverse payments ecosystem. A representative from the European Commission and representatives from Eurosystem national central banks will also participate in the group.
Meetings are to be held at least quarterly, starting in November 2021, and written consultations will be organised between meetings. The issues identified will also be considered in the Eurosystem’s established forum for institutional dialogue on retail payments, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB). The ERPB consists of high-level representatives of industry associations and represents a wide range of stakeholders. In addition, the Eurosystem will engage with the public and merchants through dedicated surveys (e.g. of focus groups) and will continue to hold technical workshops with the industry.
BBVA’s head of payments discipline Antonio Macías Vecino, Deutsche Bank’s managing director and global head of asset platforms Jochen Siegert, Société Générale’s open banking director Yves Blavet, and Stripe’s head of payment engineering of EMEA payments Sean Mullaney are representing the group, among other professionals.
The investigation phase will last 24 months, and it aims to address key issues regarding the design and distribution of a digital euro. The ECB has yet to decide whether it will issue a digital euro. The central bank has said if it does, then the digital euro would complement cash and not replace it.