ING’s Evelien Witlox recruited to head ECB’s digital euro project

The European Central Bank (ECB) has appointed Evelien Witlox to head its digital euro project.

Witlox is currently at ING

She will take up the post from 1 January 2022 with the title of programme manager. Currently she is global director of payments at ING.

Witlox has held various managerial roles at ING. She is currently responsible for ING’s worldwide payments products and a member of the Dutch bank’s management council. Since 2018, she has also been a board member of the European Payments Council (EPC).

As programme manager for the ECB’s digital euro project, she will join the senior management team of the Directorate General Market Infrastructure and Payments.

The investigation phase of the project is scheduled to run until October 2023 and aims to address key issues regarding design and distribution.

It will analyse how a digital euro can be designed and distributed to retailers and the public. The analysis will also look at how a digital euro can impact the retail payments market and what changes to European legislation might be needed.

Key stated goals of a digital euro are to meet the needs of Europeans while helping to prevent illicit activities and avoid any negative impact on financial stability and monetary policy.

The investigation phase will not prejudge any future decision on the possible issuance of a digital euro. The ECB is keen to state that, in any event, a digital euro would complement cash, not replace it.