Spanish banking sector to explore use of digital euro

A number of Spanish banking heavyweights have formed a working group to assess the impact of the implementation of a digital euro by the European Central Bank (ECB) and explore its uses.

Spanish financial institutions partner to explore use of a digital euro

The partnering banks and interbank payment networks, including Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank and Iberpay, will conduct a proof of concept (POC) of an ECB digital currency, or digital euro.

The work, set to be completed by the end of this year, follows a research stage initiated by the eurozone’s monetary authority, Eurosystem, which began in 2021 and will wrap up in October 2023.

Together, the financial institutions will analyse the technical, operational and business implications of a digital euro and its interoperability with the digital payment instruments currently used by European citizens.

Tests will include the simulated person-to-person remittance of digital euros, payments in e-commerce and physical commerce payments in which banks would be the custodians of their customers’ digital currency accounts.

Data will be collected and analysed and a report outlining the conclusions will be shared with industry players and the relevant authorities in 2023.

The banks taking part are BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, Abanca, Arquia, Banca March, Banca Pueyo, Banco Caminos, Banco Mediolanum, Bankinter, Caixa Guissona, Caixa Ontinyent, Caja de Ingenieros, Cajalmendralejo, Cecabank, Deutsche Bank, Eurocaja Rural, EVO Banco, Grupo Caja Rural, Grupo Cajamar, Ibercaja, ING, Kutxabank, Laboral Kutxa, N26, Openbank, Orange Bank, Targobank and Unicaja Banco.

The participating interbank firms that specialise in payment services are Bizum, Iberpay and Redsys.

In September, the ECB selected five companies to collaborate with for the development of potential user interfaces for the digital euro.