Revolutionizing Digital Payments: The European Commission's Plan for a Digital Euro

In a bold move towards financial inclusion and increased competition in digital payments, the European Commission unveils its ground-breaking proposal for the implementation of a digital euro.

The Commission is expected to officially present its innovative proposal on 28 June 2023, when it will reveal the benefits for businesses and European citizens. With the potential to reshape the European retail payments market, this initiative responds to both the need for innovation and the desire to maintain monetary control amid technological advancements. Let's explore the key features of the digital euro proposal.

Addressing Fragmentation and Promoting Competition

The European Commission's primary motivation behind the digital euro proposal is to reduce fragmentation in the European retail payments market and encourage competition. By providing an inclusive retail payment option accessible not only to banks but also to the broad public, the Commission aims to foster industry initiatives that offer pan-European payment services. This forward-thinking approach aligns with the Commission's commitment to adapt the official currency forms to technological developments and ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of digital innovation.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

The digital euro aims to be accessible to everyone, just like cash. The proposal ensures that all financial institutions offering payments must provide their essential services in digital euro upon customer request, as they should be free of charge to individuals. This ensures that even users who are not customers of financial institutions can easily access and use the new digital currency. Furthermore, public institutions like postal offices and local authorities would play a leading role in distributing the digital euro.

Privacy and Data Protection

Ensuring privacy and protecting personal data is paramount in the digital age. The draft proposal recognizes the need to comply with the anti-money laundering rules and other applicable EU sanctions, which may require payment service providers to process personal data. However, the proposal emphasizes the use of appropriate technical and organizational measures, such as encryption, to maintain privacy while allowing for traceability and compliance. The goal is to achieve a high level of privacy for offline transactions, similar to the operations in cash while adhering to anti-money laundering standards for online digital euro transactions.

Promoting Digital Identity

The European Commission encourages financial institutions to offer consumers access to their services through notified electronic identification schemes such as Evrotrust, which ensure a high level of security and full compliance with EU measures. The European Digital Identity Wallet is recognized as a potential storage solution for digital euros, further enhancing convenience and accessibility. It is crucial to strike a balance between user-friendly services and safeguarding personal data, ensuring fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory access for all.


The European Commission aims to introduce a digital euro accessible to the broad public for free, strengthening financial inclusion and competition in digital payments. The proposal seeks to reduce fragmentation in retail payments and encourage pan-European payment services. The digital euro is in response to recent technological advancements and the need for monetary control. Similar to cash transactions, the digital euro is backed by the European Central Bank and will be accessible to everyone. Privacy and data protection are prioritized, and interoperability with digital identity wallets is promoted. The digital euro has the potential to revolutionize digital payments and set a global example for other countries outside the EU who are expected to follow with similar solutions.