Italian Payments Giant Nexi Says It Is ‘Contributing’ to Design of Digital Euro


The head of Italian payments giant Nexi says his company is “engaging” with the European Central Bank (ECB) and “contributing” to the design of the bloc’s digital euro.

Speaking at Money 20/20 on Thursday, Nexi CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo told CNBC’s Karen Tso a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could be a “force” in the evolution of digital payments.

“We are starting to talk about a new version of cash,” said Bertoluzzo. “That’s why we are engaging with the ECB.”

In July, the ECB said it would move to the exploration phase of its plans to develop a digital euro. Earlier this month, advisor to the senior management of the Market Infrastructure and Payments business area of the ECB, Jurgen Schaaf, said the two-year investigation period was not a confirmation that the plans would go ahead.

In the meantime, China has forged ahead with its digital yuan. In August, the digital yuan was used in the domestic futures market for the first time following multiple other test runs.

The U.S. has fallen far behind China and the European Union, and has yet to even consider exploring a digital dollar for its domestic and global markets. A U.S. report from the Federal Reserve on the benefits of CBDCs is expected sometime later this month.

Read more: Bank of America Calls CBDCs ‘More Effective’ Than Cash in Research Note