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Payment systems

Eurosystem oversight of payment systems primarily distinguishes between systemically important payment systems (SIPS) and non-systemically important payment systems (non-SIPS).

This distinction is based on criteria related to size, market share, cross-border activity and the provision of settlement services to other financial market infrastructures.

The classification of euro area payment systems is reviewed annually.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted operators of financial market infrastructures around the world to consider the best way to plan for and respond to globally emerging and re-emerging epidemics. The Eurosystem has therefore compiled a set of key market practices for pandemic crisis planning.

Systemically important payment systems (SIPS)

Oversight requirements

The ECB Regulation on oversight requirements for systemically important payment systems (SIPS Regulation), amended in 2017, covers both large-value and retail payment systems of systemic importance, whether operated by Eurosystem national central banks or private entities.

It aims to ensure the efficient management of legal, credit, liquidity, operational, general business, custody, investment and other risks, as well as sound governance arrangements, objective and open access, and the efficiency and effectiveness of SIPS.

Oversight responsibilities

Under the SIPS Regulation, the ECB is responsible for overseeing TARGET2, EURO1 and STEP2-T.

The ECB and the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique are responsible for overseeing the Mastercard Clearing Management System.

The Banque de France is responsible for overseeing CORE(FR).

The US Federal Reserve System has accepted primary oversight responsibility for the CLS system, leading a cooperative oversight framework in which the ECB participates, together with the G10 national central banks. Within the Eurosystem, the ECB has primary responsibility for the settlement of euro-denominated payments by CLS, in close cooperation with other Eurosystem central banks.

Protocol for the Cooperative Oversight Arrangement of CLS

Non-systemically important payment systems (non-SIPS)

Non-systemically important payment systems (non-SIPS) are generally used for the bulk of low-value payments to and from individuals and between individuals and companies and public authorities.

They contribute to both the stability and efficiency of the financial system as a whole and citizens’ confidence in the euro.

Non-SIPS consist of non-systemically important large-value payment systems (LVPS), prominently important retail payment systems (PIRPS) and other retail payment systems (ORPS).

Oversight requirements

The Eurosystem applies the CPSS-IOSCO Principles for financial market infrastructures (PFMI) to the oversight of non-SIPS. Non-systemically important large-value payment systems are subject to the complete set of CPSS-IOSCO Principles while only a subset is deemed relevant for non-systemically important retail payment systems (see Oversight framework for retail payment systems).

Where relevant, retail payment systems also have to comply with some of the Oversight expectations for links between retail payment systems (OELRPS). The OELRPS focus on ensuring the safety and efficiency of the operation of links between retail payment systems.

Oversight responsibilities

The Eurosystem’s oversight of non-systemically important large-value and retail payment systems covers the following (reference year 2017):

Non-systemically important large-value payment systems Prominently important retail payment systems Other retail payment systems
POPS (Finland) Clearing Service Austria (Austria) Clearing Service International (Austria)
  PSA (Austria) Cyprus Clearing House for Cheques (Cyprus)
  CEC (Belgium) Cyprus SEPA Direct Debit Payment System (Cyprus)
  JCC Payment Card System (Cyprus) Automatia Realtime Payment Platform (Finland)
  Ühiskasutuse süsteem (Estonia) SEPA.EU (France)
  SICOI (Portugal) RPS (EMZ) (Germany)
  SIMP-PS (Slovenia) STEP2-CC (Germany)
  SIPS (Slovak Interbank Payment Systems) (Slovakia) Athens Clearing Office - ACO (Greece)
    Interbanking Systems S.A. - DIAS (Greece)
    IPCC (Ireland)
    CSM Banca d’Italia (Italy)
    ICCREA/BI-COMP (Italy)
    Nexi/BI-COMP (Italy)
    Nexi ACH Instant/BI-COMP (Italy)
    SIA/BI-COMP (Italy)
    Electronic Clearing System EKS (Latvia)
    Worldline Latvia CSM (previously Local clearing system for card payments; Latvia)
    CENTROlink (Lithuania)
    Malta Clearing House (Malta)
    Equens CSM (Netherlands)
    First Data Slovakia (SIA Slovakia; Slovakia)
    Multilateralni kliring Activa (Slovenia)
    Plačilni sistem Moneta (operations ceased end 2018; Slovenia)
    Poravnava bankomatov (Slovenia)
    Poravnava kartic (Slovenia)
    Poravnava Multilateralnega kliringa MasterCard (Slovenia)
    SNCE (Spain)

In addition to the systems listed above, BIPS (Slovenia) started operating in February 2019.

Offshore payment systems

The Eurosystem strives to ensure a level playing field in its oversight requirements for payment systems processing in euro taking into account their size and importance. This includes payment systems located outside the euro area that comply with the Eurosystem’s location policy, as laid out in the Eurosystem oversight policy framework. For this reason, the following offshore payment systems are either overseen as part of a cooperative arrangement or monitored for potential changes in circumstance:

  • Visa Europe (United Kingdom)
  • BISERA7-EUR (Bulgaria)
  • EuroNKS (Croatia)
  • EuroElixir (Poland)
  • SENT – Euro (Romania)
  • Hong Kong Euro Chats (Hong Kong)
  • CDFCPS (China)

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