Submission deadline: 15 June 2019

Call for Papers

Joint European Central Bank – National Bank of Belgium conference

Crossing the chasm to the retail payments of tomorrow

26 and 27 November 2019, Brussels


The European Central Bank and the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique will host a conference entitled “Crossing the chasm to the retail payments of tomorrow”. This conference will be the sixth in the series of high-profile retail payments conferences organised by the ECB in cooperation with a national central bank. These conferences have proven to be an excellent platform for bringing together market participants, policymakers, regulators and academics to share experiences, research and policy analysis.

Objective of the conference

This conference aims at focusing the strategic debate on the possible disruptions facing the retail payments space, and their potential impact, in the context of the more incremental transformation that is under way. The objective is to improve authorities’, academics’ and practitioners’ understanding of this phenomenon, as well as to identify possible future developments and dynamics that will ensure an innovative, integrated and competitive retail payments landscape in Europe, taking into account the global perspective.

Conference themes – call for papers

The conference organisers invite authors – whether from academia, public institutions (including central banks), special interest groups or the private sector – to submit policy-oriented, theoretical and/or empirical papers. These papers should be original contributions and clearly focus on innovative retail payments, covering at least one of the following three related themes:

  • Theme 1: Transformative trends in retail payments

    The retail payments space is undergoing transformation in response to evolving user needs. The focus of the discussion will be on incremental improvements, including instant payments, mobile payments and other emerging services, such as payment initiation services and account information services, as well as the possible evolution towards “open banking”.

  • Theme 2: Winds of disruption in retail payments

    The aim of this discussion will be to outline the main drivers of possible disruptions in the retail payments space, covering the topics of (i) decentralisation (via DLT) versus centralisation (via large platforms), (ii) new entrants/fintech, and (iii) new versus traditional means of payment, including the impact of crypto assets, stable coins, as well as big data and artificial intelligence.

  • Theme 3: The role for central banks and regulators

    This discussion will focus on the role that public institutions could play in the retail payments landscape to help manage and harness change, covering in particular

    1. the need to ensure technology neutrality and a level playing field between actors
    2. the need to foster innovation while managing the risks of new technologies
    3. the impact on the own functions of central banks (including operations, oversight, etc.)

Each submission should include an abstract, as well as the name and email address of a nominated author who could present the content or specific aspects of the paper. Abstracts of around 1,000 words (or preferably completed papers) should be in English. The deadline for submissions of extended abstracts/papers is 15 June 2019. Papers should be sent by email in PDF format to the following two email addresses: and

Selection process and conference participation

The conference organisation committee will review all extended abstracts/papers submitted on time in terms of their quality and their policy relevance/the potential level of interest, while ensuring an overall balance of topics, stakeholder interests and approaches. The authors will be informed by the end of July 2019 as to whether or not their papers have been accepted. If a paper is accepted for presentation and discussion at the conference, the authors must submit a final draft of the paper no later than 1 October 2019. Authors also agree to revise their papers based on the discussion at the conference and allow them to be published on the conference website. Travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed for one academic speaker per accepted paper.