The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the demand for cash. Cash in circulation increased sharply from March through December 2020, particularly in the early months of this period. Although use of electronic methods of payment also increased significantly, cash use for payments remains high for low-value transactions and among certain demographic groups.
We discuss the competition and innovation arguments for issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). A CBDC could be an effective competition policy tool for payments. A CBDC could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy. It could help solve market failures and foster competition and innovation in new digital payments markets.
In this analysis, we use simulations in the Bank of Canada’s projection model—the Terms-of-Trade Economic Model—to consider a suite of extended monetary policies to support the economy following the COVID-19 crisis.
The Bank of Canada’s Communications Department has developed a framework to quantify and qualify the Bank’s communications efforts and their results. Using data-based measurement and evaluation, the department can assess the impact of the Bank’s communications activities and gauge the department’s contribution to the Bank’s overall goals.
Adequate cash distribution is one the Bank of Canada’s core interests. Canadians’ ability to access cash influences the Bank’s thinking on issuing a central bank digital currency. We provide a perspective on these issues by exploring access of First Nations reserves to cash.
Solving macroeconomic models is difficult. One challenge is the occasionally binding constraint of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. This paper reviews various ways to solve models that include this feature.
Using Bank Note Distribution System data on the demand for cash up to September 2020, we find that demand was strong. This is true even though cash use for payments declined early in the pandemic. When mobility restrictions and lockdown measures were eased, cash use for payments increased sharply but remained less popular than electronic methods of payment.