The Italian Banking Association (ABI) says its members are ready to participate in pilot projects for a European-level central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The ABI last year established an Expert Group dedicated to exploring digital money and crypto assets.
Asserting that monetary stability and a full respect of the European regulatory framework must be taken in account as a priority, the Group has come out broadly in favour of bank support for central bank currency trials.
"A programmable digital money represents an innovation able to profoundly modify the way we conceive currency and exchange," states the ABI. "This transformation can potentially deliver a great added value, in particular in terms of efficiency for both operational and support process. This is the reason why is so important to dedicate attention and energies to develop, quickly and in collaboration with the entire ecosystem, new instruments able to primarily support the development of the Euro area."
ABI says that banks want to be part of the change that comes from the creation of new monetary instruments, pointing to the private sector innovations already accomplished by the Spunta project - an ABI-led distributed ledger technology-based system for the reconciliation of reciprocal accounts that went into production in April.
The banking sector would have a key role to play in shaping central bank policy, helping to define how to distribute, store and exchange digital money in a way that best meets customer needs
States the ABI: "Thanks to the role of banks, it is possible to identify technical solution and operational framework able to preserve current characteristics of cash, while adding several typical benefits of the digital world (already satisfied by digital payment instruments), such as the ability not to lose money."