Norges Bank

Financial Infrastructure Report

Financial Infrastructure Report 2021

NB Papers 2/21: Retail payment services 2020
Press release: A secure and efficient financial infrastructure, but room for improvement

Financial Infrastructure Report 2021 – in a nutshell

The financial infrastructure has functioned smoothly

There have been few disruptions in the Norwegian financial infrastructure in recent years, and the infrastructure has functioned smoothly also during the coronavirus pandemic. We consider the financial infrastructure to be secure and efficient.

New framework for strengthening cyber resilience

Testing for and identifying risks of cyber incidents in the banking and payment system can be improved. Finanstilsynet (Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway) and Norges Bank have drawn up a proposed framework for testing cyber resilience. The proposal has been circulated for comment this spring.

Real-time payments should be available in more payment situations

The infrastructure for real-time payments has been strengthened, but there is still a need for improvements and further development of retail services atop this infrastructure. Norges Bank is now assessing how the real-time payment infrastructure can best be further developed, including whether Norges Bank should expand its operational role.

Need to clarify the regulation of cash services

For cash to help promote confidence and efficiency in the payment system, cash must be available and easy to use. Norges Bank supports the drafting of a regulation that clarifies the obligation of individual banks to ensure that customers have the opportunity to deposit and withdraw cash. It should also be specified how banks can take into account electronic contingency arrangements in designing their cash contingency arrangements.

Norges Bank is researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

Norges Bank is assessing whether central bank money should also be issued in digital form. This is because cash usage is falling and the Bank is motivated by the precautionary principle, in case the monetary and payment system evolves in an undesirable direction. Further work is planned including experimental testing of technical solutions.

Initiative for regulating crypto-assets

Norges Bank supports the European Commission’s initiative to remedy the lack of regulation of crypto-assets. Greater use of crypto-assets may impact the security and efficiency of the payment system. Central banks should therefore monitor developments and consider whether measures are needed.

The report is published as part of the work to promote a robust and efficient financial infrastructure. Formerly Annual Report on Payment Systems.

See also Historical payment statistics

Published 20 May 2021 10:00
Published 20 May 2021 10:00