8th meeting of the National Payments Council
The eighth meeting of the National Payments Council was held at the Bank of Slovenia on 28 September 2017. The majority of the meeting was devoted to a discussion between the stakeholders in the Slovenian payments market on technologically conditioned innovations in financial services (Fintech), and specifically on the impact of this phenomenon on the payments market in Slovenia. There was a particular focus on the challenges facing payment service providers in the development and roll-out of innovations, and those facing users (consumers, business entities and others) in their use. Payment service providers face restrictions deriving from the existing regulatory framework and practices, while the main issue for users is a lack of familiarity with the innovations, their use, and the associated risks.
Innovations in the area of financial services driven by financial technology have huge potential for use in the area of payments. As the point of contact between the supply side and the demand side in the Slovenian payments market, the National Payments Council offers a platform for constructive dialogue on issues related to innovative means of payment, the exchange of opinions between stakeholders in the Slovenian payments market, and in particular the coordination of their interests in the area in question. The objective is to contribute to the creation of innovative solutions that will reflect the needs of the market. In this way the National Payments Council contributes to the establishment of a favourable environment for the development of competitive, favourably priced, simple-to-use and, above all, secure innovative payment services in Slovenia.
During the meeting the members of the National Payments Council also discussed the activities of the working group for addressing themes related to payments security, which was established by the National Payments Council with the aim of unifying communications in the area of payments security between the stakeholders represented on the National Payments Council with consumers and businesses. The purpose of this unification is to ensure that information about innovations in the area in question, the related risks and the ways of protecting against these risks is provided properly and consistently. The working group’s objective is to ensure the highest possible level of user confidence in the security of payment services, thereby contributing to the maintenance of positive user experience, which will help the acceptance of new effective and secure means of payment in Slovenia.
Those attending the meeting were also briefed on progress in the area of the establishment of infrastructure for instant payments. Instant payments will also be of interest to all Slovenian users, as their speed of approval (a maximum of ten seconds, and in general significantly less than this) in the accounts of payees mean that they have great potential for use in P2P payments and B2B payments, and also in the segment of person-to-business payments (P2B). The members of the National Payments Council were briefed at the meeting on the progress and status of the establishment of the pan-European infrastructure for instant payments (TIPS), and the domestic central infrastructure for clearing instant payments at Bankart d.o.o. Both elements of infrastructure are scheduled to begin functioning in autumn 2018. As of that time various providers will have the opportunity to offer instant payments solutions to users.
The members of the National Payments Council were also briefed at the meeting on the process for adopting a law that will transpose the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2) into Slovenian law. In this connection council members agreed on the urgency of ensuring the adoption of the aforementioned law at the earliest possible juncture, and certainly by the deadline for the implementation of the PSD2, namely 13 January 2018. Those in attendance were also briefed on the slow migration of Slovenian issuers of UPOs with optical character recognition (OCR) to the UPN QR form, which has been in force since 3 April 2017. The National Payments Council is therefore encouraging UPO issuers to change over more quickly to the new form, with the aim of completing the transition period by no later than the end of the envisaged one-year migration period, namely by 3 April 2018.
The support material that was discussed at the eighth meeting of the National Payments Council is available on the Bank of Slovenia website (only available in Slovene).