China’s experiments with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could shake up the country’s payments system and boost financial stability, says Moody’s Investors Service.
In a new report, the rating agency examined the possible launch of a digital version of China’s renminbi as an alternative to cash for retail payments.
Already, electronic payments are widely used in China, the report noted. And it said that a CBDC could enhance banks’ standing in that sphere.
“Widespread adoption of CBDC would help strengthen banks’ role in the e-payment system by increasing their data collection and user bases, and would allow them to benefit from use of public infrastructure for payment,” it said.
Additionally, an effective rollout of a CBDC could help bolster financial stability, Moody’s said, by “ensuring that the payment system is subject to high standards of regulation and supervision.”
For tech companies, the introduction of a CBDC “reflects authorities’ concerns about data concentration among technology companies and the financial activities of non-bank payment institutions,” Moody’s said.
“The heightened role of banks in e-payments would likely result in increased competition for technology companies over the long term,” it also noted.