According to Bank of Russia President Elvira Nabiullina, the Russian digital ruble is expected to reduce the cost of doing business, but it could also reduce the profits of commercial banks.
At a December 3 meeting at the NGO Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Opora Russia, Nabiullina said that the digital ruble could undermine commercial bank profits through commissions and transaction fees.
She also stated that the central bank’s digital currency is a natural step in improving the efficiency of financial services:
“This is a natural step in developing the financial system: financial intermediaries should become less burdensome on the economy and earn money through new products and services instead of profit from monopoly and lack of alternatives […] We believe that SMEs should definitely be profitable to medium sized businesses. . ”
The official also highlighted a number of advantages of the digital ruble, including safer and faster payments. “We are now studying several models in which a digital ruble could exist, where the interaction between customers, the central bank and commercial banks is organized in different ways, but these advantages are preserved in all models. These are fast, reliable and secure payments,” she said.
In October 2020, Nabiullina announced that the digital ruble would not have the same degree of anonymity as cash, indicating that the Bank of Russia expects to enhance user privacy. The Chairman’s comments came shortly after the Russian Central Bank officially announced its plans for central bank digital currencies on October 13th. According to the bank, the digital ruble may soon be used as an additional form of money besides cash.