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What do Europeans want from digital wallets? ECB report has answers

What do Europeans want from digital wallets? ECB report has answers

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and budget management are some of the most important features that a European digital wallet should have, according to a new survey published by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The focus group findings explores European views on a potential digital wallet and have been published alongside ECB’s third progress report on the introduction of the digital euro. The survey was created to provide the ECB with insights into the adoption of digital wallets across different populations.

Aside from P2P payments and budgeting features, Europeans are also interested in offline payments and payments by QR codes, which are currently not widely available. Services such as conditional payments, for example, payment-on-delivery and pay-per-use, and payment monitoring dashboards for merchants are also desired.

On the other hand, private transaction lists with hidden names of payers and payees proved to be unpopular as it was perceived as inconvenient and not really contributing to privacy.

Predictably, younger people are more open to adopting or trying out digital wallets than older respondents. However, digital wallet popularity also depends on how it is introduced and the role local commercial banks play in the process. The underbanked category is the only target group that felt uncomfortable with new digital payment solutions. Adoption by merchants depends on its popularity with customers, the survey showed.

Who should adopt the digital euro first?

As for adopting the digital euro, ECB’s progress report concludes that its most popular use may be peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.

The electronic equivalent to cash is currently being explored by the ECB and other national central banks in the euro area. Initially, the digital euro would be accessible to residents, merchants and governments in the euro area, while non-residents could potentially use the digital currency through an account with a euro area-based payment services provider (PSP).

The central bank’s digital currency could be made available through existing banking apps and a potential Eurosystem app. The Eurosystem, which is the monetary authority of the euro area, is considering a new digital euro app that would include basic, entry-point payment functionalities provided by PSPs and supervised by intermediaries such as banks distributing the digital euro.

“The Eurosystem is committed to ensuring a digital euro would be fit for purpose in a digital economy,” ECB Executive Board Member Fabio Panetta said in a statement. “The findings from these reports will feed into our decision on the future of the project, which will be taken in the autumn.”

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