Norges Bank

Press release

Improvements needed in the financial infrastructure

"The payment system in Norway has long featured standardised and cost-efficient solutions. To keep the payment system operating efficiently, improvements are needed", says Deputy Governor Jon Nicolaisen.

Improved real-time payments on the horizon

Payment options where the funds are available in the payee's account seconds after the payment is initiated (real-time payments) is an important feature of an efficient payment system. Since 2016, the banking industry and Norges Bank have collaborated on improving the infrastructure for real-time payments in Norway.

"The plan is for an improved infrastructure to go live before the end of 2019. Norges Bank assumes that banks will then offer services that will enable retail and corporate customers to make the most of the new infrastructure's potential", says Nicolaisen.

A secure payment system has several legs to stand on

Electronic contingency arrangements are the first line of defence in the event of a disruption in the payment system. Electronic back-up solutions currently do not exist that are sufficiently independent of the ordinary payment system.

"Since cash payments can be made independently of electronic systems, cash remains an important part of contingency preparedness. Norges Bank is examining whether a central bank digital currency (CBDC) can help to support confidence in the monetary system and promote payment system efficiency, including functioning as an independent back-up solution for the payment system", says Nicolaisen.

New cyber security framework

Increasing risk of cyber attacks against key ICT systems requires effective electronic contingency arrangements to enable the payment system to function following an attack.

"Norges Bank will invite the industry, Finanstilsynet and other relevant authorities to a dialogue to assess whether to introduce a standardised framework for testing cyber security in the payment system in Norway, with the aim of enhancing cyber security and promoting financial stability," says Nicolaisen.

Financial Infrastructure Report 2019


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Published 23 May 2019 10:00