13th meeting of the National Payments Council
On 16 April 2019 the Bank of Slovenia hosted the 13th meeting of the National Payments Council (NPC), which aims to support the balanced and sustainable development of the market for secure and efficient payment services in Slovenia, and to ensure that the market adapts to changes in the international environment. It was also the annual meeting, at which the annual report on the work of the NPC in 2018 (in Slovene only) was discussed and adopted, and its publication on the Bank of Slovenia website was approved.
The NPC encourages the development and implementation of effective means of payment in Slovenia. In this context, those attending the meeting were briefed on the activities of banks and savings banks with regard to the development of the Slovenian instant payments scheme (Flik). The NPC is keeping pace with progress in this area, as instant payments that are available 24/7/365 and represent an alternative to existing means of payment have great potential for use in the peer-to-peer (P2P) segment, and also in the business-to-business (B2B) segment and at POSs at merchants (P2M). It is above all the younger generations of users for whom instant payments represent a real alternative to cash for making payments between peers. To ensure a positive user experience when paying with instant payments, the NPC encourages the development of simple, secure and generally acceptable solutions, specifically those that are tailored to users’ requirements. The instant payments solutions of banks and savings banks are expected to be available to users from September of this year.
Those attending the meeting were briefed on current developments in the area of payments-related fintech. The changes in payments brought by technological advances and the entry of (new) non-bank providers into the payments market represent a challenge to existing providers. They realise that the evolution of the payments ecosystem does not necessarily constitute a threat, but rather an opportunity to develop new business models and digitalisation, not merely from the perspective of the services offered to users, but also digitalisation in the sense of a comprehensive overhaul of the way in which business is done. As an advisory platform, the NPC allows the various stakeholders in the payments market that are represented within it to exchange information and experience in connection with payments-related fintech innovations that are relevant to its work. The aim of the dialogue within the NPC is first to ensure that its members are kept up to date with current developments in the area of fintech, and then to provide a basis for defining its next activities in this area.
In connection with developments in the area of payments, the NPC also discussed the issue of the lack of a level playing field for payment service providers caused by the different legislative requirements in different EU Member States. In Member States where more stringent legislative requirements are in force, payment service providers could do business under less favourable terms, and are in a worse competitive position. The NPC set up a special working group for a more detailed examination of this issue. The objective of the working group is to draw up analysis of the gaps in business conditions between Slovenian providers and foreign providers.
For more about the NPC and its activities, including the action plan to which the NPC committed itself in 2019 and 2020, see the link.