​Today, the Bank of Finland arranged the tenth Payments Forum, where payment sector experts discussed the challenges and possibilities for the future payments environment. The key themes of this year’s Forum were digitalisation visions on payments, the drivers of change, and the payments landscape in the 2020s.

In his opening remarks to the Payments Forum, Erkki Liikanen, Governor of the Bank of Finland, emphasised that digitalisation is an important force for change and has an extensive impact on society and the economy as a whole.

'Digitalisation is a technological change that both enables new ways of doing things and introduces new instruments to all the sectors of the economy. Long-term economic growth and the rise in the standard of living are based on improvements in labour productivity. Digitalisation can be an important factor in this equation,' underlined Mr Liikanen.

The impacts of digitalisation are also seen in the field of payments. As a result of the new practices introduced by the new actors, user needs are now the focus of payment development. The purpose of innovative ideas that utilise digitalisation is to make payment increasingly easy and effortless. This development poses a challenge also for regulation, in that it should not be an obstacle to payment service innovations.

'Technological advances and the entry into the market of new actors and practices are also a challenge to regulation. It is important to strike a balance: on the one hand regulation must ensure the reliability and safety of payment services, but on the other hand, it must also enable the introduction of new innovations,' emphasised Mr Liikanen.

The Payments Forum also saw the publication of an electronic booklet on the future of payments, prepared within the framework of the Payments Council. The booklet, which is titled 'How do we pay in the 2020s? Perspectives on future payment solutions', examines the payments landscape extensively, from the perspective of users, service providers and the authorities. The compilation of articles serves as a basis for further discussions at the Payments Council and as an introduction to a more general discussion on the future of payments.

The aim of the annual Payments Forum is to foster dialogue and cooperation as well as a common perspective among Finnish market participants for the purpose of ensuring secure and efficient payments.

For more information, please contact Kari Kemppainen, Senior Adviser (kari.kemppainen@bof.fi, tel. +358 10 831 2249).