Ben Fung


Ben co-leads the Bank’s digital currency research initiative with Scott Hendry (FBD).  His current focus is studying the potential roles of the central bank in retail payments and, in particular, the issuance of central bank digital currency.


Ben Fung

Economic Research and Analysis

Bank of Canada
234 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

Curriculum vitae


Merchant Acceptance of Cash and Credit Cards at the Point of Sale

Staff Analytical Note 2018-1 Ben Fung, Kim Huynh, Kerry Nield, Angelika Welte
Recent data show that the use of credit cards in Canada has been increasing, while the use of cash has been declining. At the same time, only two-thirds of small or medium-sized businesses accept credit cards.

Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and Implications

Staff Discussion Paper 2017-16 Walter Engert, Ben Fung
The emergence of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain and distribution ledger technology have attracted significant attention. These developments have raised the possibility of considerable impacts on the financial system and perhaps the wider economy.

November 16, 2017 Acceptance and Use of Payments at the Point of Sale in Canada

Merchants universally accept cash. Consumers widely hold cash but also carry debit and credit cards. The cost of using a method of payment has only a small influence on which method consumers use. Large merchants accept all payments, while only two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses accept credit cards. Merchants report that credit cards are the costliest payment method compared with cash and debit cards. However, costs are not the only consideration. Merchant acceptance of credit accounts for the many con-sumers that want to use credit cards. This interaction between consumers and merchants is known as network externalities.

Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies

Staff Working Paper 2017-5 Ben Fung, Scott Hendry, Warren E. Weber
This paper studies the period in Canada when both private bank notes and government-issued notes (Dominion notes) were simultaneously in circulation. Because both of these notes shared many of the characteristics of today's digital currencies, the experience with these notes can be used to draw lessons about how digital currencies might perform.

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Framework for Assessing Why and How

Staff Discussion Paper 2016-22 Ben Fung, Hanna Halaburda
Digital currencies have attracted strong interest in recent years and have the potential to become widely adopted for use in making payments. Public authorities and central banks around the world are closely monitoring developments in digital currencies and studying their implications for the economy, the financial system and central banks.

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Refereed Journals

Other publications

  • "Modelling Financial Channels for Monetary Policy Analysis."
    (with Ian Christensen and Césaire Meh) Bank of Canada Review (Autumn 2006)
  • "Yield and inflation differentials between Canada and the United States,"
    (with Eli Remolona). Proceedings of the Bank of Canada Conference on "Information in Financial Asset Prices." 1999.
  • "The stance of monetary policy"
    (with M. Yuan). Proceedings of the Bank of Canada Conference on "Money, Monetary Policy, and Transmission Mechanism." 2000.
  • "Composition of US Dollar foreign exchange reserves by instrument"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, November 2000, pp.59-60.
  • "How active are central banks in managing their US dollar reserve portfolios?"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, March 2001, pp.31-32.
  • "Analyzing the growth of Taiwanese deposits in foreign currency,"
    (with R. McCauley), Bank for International Settlements Quarterly Review, September 2001, pp. 49-56.
  • "China's Asset Management Corporations"
    (with G. Ma), Bank for International Settlements Working Paper, 115.
  • "A VAR analysis of the effects of monetary policy in East Asia",
    Bank for International Settlements Working Paper, 119.
  • "Public asset management companies in East Asia,"
    (with J. George, S. Hohl, and G. Ma), Financial Stability Institute Occasional Paper No. 3, February 2004


  • Ph.D. (Economics), University of Western Ontario
  • B.Soc.Sc., M.Soc.Sc. (Economics), University of Hong Kong

Research Interests

  • Money and Banking
  • Payments economics


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