Your browser is not supported

Our website does not support the browser you are using. For a better browsing experience update to a compatible browser like the latest browsers from Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Digital cash


We're looking at the possibility of issuing digital cash. It would be an electronic version of cash, issued by us, but it would not replace cash.

What is digital cash?

Audio: The way New Zealanders pay for things is changing.

Visual: The words digital cash appear on screen.

Audio: Digital payments are becoming more popular and we're not using cash as much as we used to.

Visual: Coins falling out of a purse

Audio: We also have a lot more choice in how we pay.

Visual: Banknotes (cash) and cards appear on screen.

Audio: Sometimes we send money from one bank account to another

Visual: A woman sitting behind her laptop. Left and right arrows point to two buildings on either side.

Audio: or tap and pay with our card or phone.

Visual: A hand tapping a phone on an EFTPOS terminal.

Audio: To keep up with the changing times, we're looking at the possibility of issuing digital cash.

Visual: A circle with the word past interlocks with a square with the word future.

Audio: This would be a digital version of cash issued by us, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua, but it wouldn't replace cash.

Visual: A round coin and a rectangular coin (representing digital cash) appear on screen.

Audio: Cash will still be available.

Visual: Banknotes, a stack of coins and a tick on appear on screen.

Audio: This makes it different from cryptocurrencies that are issued by private firms and not as stable.

Visual: A circle with a bitcoin symbol transitions to a dollar symbol.

Audio: We want everyone to have access to digital cash, even if you don't have a bank account.

Visual: A map of New Zealand appears on screen.

Audio: Like bank notes, you could use digital cash to make payments when the power

Visual: A circle with a cross transitions to a circle with a line through the middle and a fading lightning bolt in the background.

Audio: or internet is down

Visual: A computer with a smiley face changes to a sad face.

Audio: like in an emergency.

Visual: A cellphone with a large exclamation mark on its screen

Audio: If you want, you'll be able to use a physical card to access your digital cash.

Visual: A bank card with the digital cash symbol appears on screen.

Audio: and on devices like your phone

Visual: A hand tapping a cellphone with the digital cash symbol on its screen.

Audio: your watch,

Visual: A smartwatch with the digital cash symbol on its screen.

Audio: or through cards in a digital wallet.

Visual: A card wallet appears on screen.

Audio: These would be provided by a private company or your bank.

Visual: A building with the words AnyBank.

Audio: You'll be able to use your digital cash to buy things online, in shops

Visual: A shopping trolley full of food

Audio: pay bills 

Visual: A laptop screen with the words Pay Now on screen.

Audio: or send money to your friends and family/whānau in an instant.

Visual: Two cellphones tap each other. One cellphone has the digital cash symbol, the other has a heart.

Audio: Similar to bank notes and coins, digital cash would work

Visual: A heart with the digital cash symbol appears on screen.

Audio: with current payment options and you can switch between the two.

Visual: The heart expands to reveal banknotes, coins, digital cash and bank cards.

Audio: Your transactions will be private, meaning we won't be able to see how you spend your money or control where you spend your money.

Visual: A shield with a thumb print appears on screen.

Audio: Just like the money you use today, you can trust that digital cash will be safe and secure.

Visual: A shield with the digital cash symbol appears on screen.

Audio: We’ll protect your digital cash from any cyber attacks, theft or fraud.

Visual: Four pins, one in each corner, move towards the shield.

Audio: We haven't made a decision if we'll introduce digital cash. We're still exploring the possibilities of how it might work, and we want your feedback on the features that are important to you.

Visual: Bubbles with a question mark symbol appear on screen. This transitions to a magnifying glass with a question mark, and then a speech bubble with a question mark.

Audio: Please visit our website to learn more and have your say.

Visual: Words on screen say This transitions to a pink end screen with Reserve Bank of New Zealand -  Te Pūtea Matua.

What you need to know

Why are we looking into digital cash?

Digital cash would give you more choice when making payments, and give everyone access to central bank money.

Find out more about digital cash

How would digital cash work?

We’re looking ahead to imagine how Kiwis might pay for things in future using digital cash. 

Read our user stories

What stage are we at?

We're progressing our digital cash work through 4 stages. We're currently in stage 2.

Next steps for digital cash

How to have your say

There are 2 ways to have your say on digital cash. You can either:

Complete our online survey

Tell us which features of digital cash are important to you. The survey is anonymous.

Start the survey


Read the consultation documents and upload a written submission

We've published a consultation paper and various supporting documents that explain the technical aspects of the digital cash model. You'll find these on our CitizenSpace consultation hub.

You'll also have the option to upload a written submission online.

Download the consultation documents

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to common questions you may have about digital cash.

Digital cash: your questions answered

Information in alternate formats

We're developing alternate formats for our digital cash consultation paper. These will be available in late June.

We encourage you to help people who may not be able to complete the online survey by:

  • doing this on their behalf 
  • asking them to post their submission to Future of Money, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 2 The Terrace, Wellington