The Bank of England and the UK Treasury have announced a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Taskforce to coordinate the exploration of a potential British CBDC. But how could a digital Pound actually work? As it happens, this is something that Consult Hyperion knows rather a lot about. Apart from our work on the first British central bank digital currency (Mondex) back in the 1990s, our work on the first population-scale mobile money scheme (M-PESA) in the 2000s and our work on the most transformational contactless payment roll-out (Transport for London) in the 2010s, our practical experience across implementation platforms means that we understand the architectural options better than anyone.
Businesses should surely have some sort of back-up plan to move to if their card payments go down. It’s really not that complicated and there are plenty of ways to take electronic payments.
To what extent should society tolerate people using expensive and inefficient payment mechanisms when more cost-effective (to society as a whole) alternatives are readily available?