BIS Releases Commentary Crediting Covid-19 for the Acceleration of Digitalization of Payments

The Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) released a commentary entitled, “Covid-19 Accelerated the Digitalisation of Payments“, asserting that the current acceleration of the digitalization payments is a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. In summary, the commentary contends that the CPMI’s latest Red Book Statistics demonstrates a consumer shift from cash to digital/contactless payment options at an “unprecedented” rate; and that the value of circulated cash has surged.

Key take aways from the commentary:

  • "The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the use of digital and contactless payments.
  • Cash in circulation reached a decade high due to a surge in demand for high-value banknotes, suggesting that cash was increasingly held as a store of value rather than for making payments.
  • The pandemic has added to the motivations of central banks to develop central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)."

More information on the CPMI’s commentary is available here.

Bank of International Settlements