Kuroda calls for rules on digital transactions

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said digital transactions have the potential to make the lives of consumers a lot easier. But he stressed the need for regulations, pointing to a variety of risks.

He was speaking near Washington on Sunday at a forum on emerging economies.

Kuroda said the latest forms of "fintech" can make banking quicker and more efficient and convenient.

He said payment services via mobile phones do not require conventional physical infrastructure such as branches and ATM networks, which were considered indispensable in providing broad access to financial services.

Kuroda added that the services will spread in emerging countries, where about 40 percent of adults have no bank accounts.

But he cautioned that the benefits come with risks. He mentioned large-scale computer system problems, privacy breaches, money laundering and tax evasion.

The central banker warned that authorities should endeavor to maximize the benefits of new technologies while appropriately addressing the accompanying risks, through close cooperation, both domestically and internationally.

Facebook's recent announcement to launch its own digital currency has triggered a global debate on how to regulate digital transactions.

Finance leaders took up the topic for the first time at last week's G-20 meeting.