We have pointed out before on these pages and elsewhere that the Nordic countries have been one of the world’s regions at the forefront of reducing cash uasge, as well as furthering the effort behind real-time cross-border payments. In this piece posted at ComputerWeekly, we again see some innovation taking place through various Nordic central banks in combination with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). They will set up an innovation hub between them.
‘Nordic developments within the digital currency domain have produced a landmark cross-border technology hub collaboration between Scandinavia’s four central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)….This deepening relationship is expected to deliver joint ventures in the same sphere, as Nordic central banks look to partner with private technology firms to build the greater expertise they need obtain next-generation financial technology (fintech) solutions….The collaboration between Denmark’s Danmarks Nationalbank, Iceland’s Seðlabanki Íslands, Norway’s Norges Bank and Sweden’s Sveriges Riksbank aims to establish an Innovation Hub Nordic Centre (IHNC) in Stockholm headed up by the BIS. It will focus on creating far-reaching financial market infrastructure solutions, including for digital currencies that have the capacity to revolutionise payment systems and how cash is used.
The article does not mention the reason for the absence of Finland, which has been part of the P27 cross-border initiative, se we expect that will come out sometime later. The piece goes on to talk about the substantial work already being done by Sweden’s Riksbank on the e-krona front, something that has been underway for a couple of years now. Readers interested in the region can browse through and get updated on latest events.
‘Among the Nordic central banks, Sweden’s Riksbank has invested most resources to date to develop a digital e-currency, the e-krona. The digital currency project is supported by external partnerships formed by the central bank with pan-Nordic bank Svenska Handelsbanken and Helsinki-based fintech TietoEVRY….Handelsbanken is part of the Riksbank-led project to assess the advantages and challenges of introducing a digital e-krona. The project gives Handelsbanken the opportunity to participate in what may prove to be one of the first publicly available digital currencies controlled by a central bank anywhere in the world, said Benny Johansson, head of the bank’s Nordic payments division….“The Riksbank and the Nordic payments market are leaders in their fields,” he said. “Handelsbanken’s role in the partnership will enable the bank to evaluate what benefits the digital currency may provide, as well as giving us the chance to create value for Handelsbanken, our customers and society overall.”
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group