One in four people point to privacy as the main obstacle to the use of digital currencies

Central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDCs) are making inroads among the population despite a large proportion of users highlighting privacy concerns as a key constraint to their widespread use 
Sede del Banco Popular de China, el Banco Central, en Pekín, China - REUTERS/JASON LEE
Headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the Central Bank, in Beijing, China - REUTERS/JASON LEE
  1. Complementary ways to pay 

Although the adoption of central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC) is advancing, it is penetrating the markets with concerns from citizens and industry players due to the difficulty of anticipating its implications for the global payment system. These concerns are related to the feeling that citizens are losing control over their money, or at least the way they have done so far, among other things.  

According to Minsait Payments' CBDC or Digital Cash Report, in addition to concerns about privacy and public control, users' lack of understanding and lack of financial and digital literacy is also an impediment to the future standardisation of CBDCs, which ranks second as one of the constraints to the scaling up of digital currencies, with a percentage of 21%. This is followed by technological and infrastructure challenges (19%), the risk of irrelevance of the solution (14%) and potential resistance to change from traditional financial institutions (10%).  

Despite the obstacles, there is agreement among central banks on the relevance, feasibility, viability and implications of CBDC, with motivations varying from country to country and region to region. According to the Minsait Payments Sector Report, the most advanced economies are looking to the digitisation of currency to improve the efficiency of payments and are confident in its ability to be another tool for innovation and progress in everyday life. The more emerging economies, however, place their trust in them as an instrument for financial inclusion.  

Complementary ways to pay 

One third of payment industry players are confident that CBDCs will play a complementary role to physical currencies in the near future, not a substitute for them. In the same vein, 26% believe that their use will be limited to certain regions or countries.   

19% of the experts surveyed by Minsait Payments also anticipate that they will be used on an experimental basis, but in no case on a massive and widespread scale, perhaps due to a certain lack of knowledge about their capabilities. Nevertheless, there is still some reticence among users and only 10% currently say that these digital currencies will be essential in the next ten years.  

Another aspect analysed in the industry report is where CBDCs will be heading. 43% of industry players believe that they will go through the current payment channels, although 38% believe that it will be up to users to choose which channels to use at any given time.  

Minsait Payments' CBDC or Digital Cash sector report is part of the study that the company presents every year on Trends in Means of Payment, and which is prepared in collaboration with Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI). This document gathers the opinions of more than 4,800 banked internet users in Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic).  

Access to the report: