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The Eurosystem oversight framework for electronic payments (PISA) is published

22 November 2021

The Eurosystem has published the oversight framework for electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangements (PISA), following a public consultation in 2020. The framework aims to contribute to the efficiency and safety of the current and future payments ecosystem as part of the ECB’s statutory task to promote the smooth operation of payment systems. It replaces the current Eurosystem oversight approach and oversight standards for payment instruments, including all the related oversight frameworks for cards, direct debits and credit transfers, as well as the security objectives for e-money.

The PISA framework establishes a set of oversight principles, based on international standards, to assess the safety and efficiency of electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangements. The framework defines electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangements as follows.

  • An electronic payment instrument is a personalised device (or set of devices), software and/or set of procedures agreed between the end user and the payment service provider to request the execution of an electronic transfer of value. Examples of electronic payment instruments are credit transfers, direct debits, payment cards, e-money transfers and digital payment tokens.
  • A scheme is a set of formal, standardised and common rules enabling the transfer of value between end users by means of electronic payment instruments. It is managed by a governance body. Examples of schemes are card payment schemes, e-money schemes, digital payment token schemes, credit transfer schemes and direct debit schemes.
  • An arrangement is a set of operational functionalities which support the end users of multiple payment service providers in their use of electronic payment instruments. The arrangement is managed by a governance body which, inter alia, issues the relevant rules or terms and conditions. An example is electronic wallets.

The PISA framework is aimed at the governance bodies of schemes and arrangements. It also covers digital payment tokens (e.g. crypto-assets used within a scheme and stablecoins, alongside already overseen payment schemes of other payment instruments.

The Eurosystem oversight will focus on those schemes and arrangements that have reached a considerable level of importance for the euro area. The criteria that the Eurosystem takes into consideration are laid out in the exemption policy. The PISA framework also includes an assessment methodology with key considerations and assessment questions for each of the oversight principles. This will help to ensure consistent and harmonised application of the PISA framework across the overseen entities.

Companies that are already subject to oversight by the Eurosystem are expected to adhere to the principles of the new framework by 15 November 2022. Others will have a grace period of one year from the moment they are notified that they will be subject to oversight under the PISA framework. All overseen companies will be invited to submit self-assessments and supporting documentation, which will form the basis of a continuous dialogue between them and the overseer.

Read more about the PISA framework in the ECB press release and the outcome of the public consultation.