The ECB, as guardian of the euro, provides currency in two forms: we issue banknotes and we transfer electronic deposits to banks and other financial institutions.
Digitalisation has spread to every corner of our lives and transformed how we pay. In this new era, a digital euro would guarantee that citizens in the euro area can maintain free access to a simple, universally accepted, safe and trusted means of payment.
A digital euro would be an electronic form of central bank money accessible to all citizens and firms – like banknotes but in a digital form. It is not meant to replace cash, but rather to complement it. Together, they give people more choices about how to pay, and make it easier for them to do so, increasing financial inclusion.
Source: European Central Bank