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Central bank digital currency 

Aparangi ā Te Pūtea Matua

We’re exploring if we will introduce a digital form of central bank money alongside cash. This type of money is known as central bank digital currency (CBDC).

What is a CBDC?

A CBDC would be a new type of money issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for everyone to use for day-to-day spending. You would be able to use it in-store or online to make payments, in the same way you can use cash to pay for things. The digital currency would have the same value as banknotes and coins. 

Read our CBDC explainer

Read our what is money explainer

Why we're looking at a CBDC

We are looking at a CBDC because the way people pay is changing. We are not using cash as much as we used to, and digital payments are becoming more and more common. Having digital money issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand would help maintain New Zealander's trust in money, protect our financial system, and improve payments by increasing efficiency and enabling innovation. A CBDC would also support financial inclusion and wellbeing because it would be available for everyone.  

A CBDC would not replace cash — a CBDC would work alongside cash, so people would have the option to use both.

We haven't made a decision whether a CBDC is right for New Zealand. We're still exploring the possibilities. But if we do decide to issue a CBDC, it would take a few years to introduce.

Next steps

We are progressing our CBDC work through a 4 stage process. At the end of each stage, we'll decide if we continue to the next stage. 


We published an issues paper which looked at the public policy case for a CBDC, and explored a set of design choices for it. We have reviewed and analysed the feedback we received.

Read our CBDC issues paper


We are exploring high level design options for the CBDC, and their costs and benefits.

To support this, we have established policy and project teams, and a CBDC Forum to ask stakeholders for their feedback. We're also working with external technical advisors to make sure the policy work is well grounded in technical options.

We expect Stage 2 to be finished later this year, or in early 2024. At the end of Stage 2, we'll recommend whether to move to Stage 3.


Stage 3 would involve a more detailed design and assessment of a CBDC, and significant stakeholder and government engagement. It would run for several years and at the end of it, we would decide if we wanted to introduce a CBDC in New Zealand.   
We would introduce the CBDC to Aotearoa New Zealand.

What other central banks are doing

Many central banks around the world are exploring or introducing a digital version of their central bank money. We follow these programmes closely, but our circumstances, approach and final decisions may differ.