Working Paper #5: Central Banks as Utilities?

January 2021
Ryan Bernard, Ashton Smith

In June 2020, the University of Michigan Center on Finance, Law & Policy held a virtual Roundtable for the Central Bank of the Future Project. This event explored whether central banks could provide services in the following areas: real time payments, account provisioning for individuals, data collection or regulation, and identification systems. This paper distills the discussion of the Roundtable into a summary of relevant considerations for central banks regarding their role in financial inclusion. The Roundtable attendees participated in the conversation under Chatham House Rule. Therefore, the ideas presented in this paper are not attributed or attributable to any one participant. These ideas also are not necessarily reflective of the opinion of the participants or authors and are certainly not an exhaustive exploration of the topics at hand. The authors have synthesized and reordered the discussion to effectively convey the thoughts and ideas presented at the Roundtable.