Central Banks Fostering Development of Fast Payment Services

The development and importance of fast payments services are the focus of a new report by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), the global standard setter for payment, clearing and settlement services.

Across CPMI jurisdictions, the number of so-called fast payment services, which make funds immediately available to the payee and can be used around-the-clock, has more than doubled since 2010.

Fast payment services are expected to grow further, providing more options for time sensitive payments, allowing consumers to better track spending, helping businesses better manage cash and supporting financial inclusion. However, they do create challenges for payments systems and may have implications for central banks and other stakeholders.

"Fast payments have the potential to generate benefits for various stakeholders and for society in general, provided that risks are properly managed. They can play a key role in upgrading and modernising a jurisdiction's payment system," CPMI Chairman Benoît Cœuré said.

"Central banks can contribute to the development and implementation of fast payments through their traditional roles as catalysts for change, as well as operators and overseers of payment systems."

The Fast payments report sets out key characteristics of fast payments, takes stock of different initiatives in CPMI jurisdictions, analyses supply and demand factors that may foster or hinder their development and sets out their benefits and risks.

The CPMI said central banks should consider their role and determine what support is warranted in order to foster the development of safe and efficient fast payments, including potential changes in their operational services.

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