Norges Bank

Financial Infrastructure Report

Financial Infrastructure Report 2020

NB Papers 1/20: Retail payment services 2019
Press release: Secure and efficient financial infrastructure

Financial Infrastructure Report 2020 – in a nutshell

The operation of the financial infrastructure has been stable

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

Solutions for real-time payments have improved

Payment solutions where the funds are available in the payee’s account seconds after the payment is initiated are increasing in use. During spring 2020, Norwegian banks have begun to use an improved common infrastructure for real-time payments. This is a clear advance, but there is still a need for further development. We will assess whether we should expand our role as operator so that more payments can be settled directly at Norges Bank.

The authorities should define clear standards for national governance and control

Disruptions in the financial infrastructure can have material negative consequences for us all. The authorities should therefore define clear standards for adequate national governance and control of critical functions. In our view, the operation of critical infra­structure should be located in Norway. If it is located abroad, contingency arrangements that can be operationalised immediately should be established in Norway.

New framework introduced to strengthen cyber resilience

Cyber crime in the financial sector is on the rise, and attack methods are constantly changing. Together with Finanstilsynet, we have decided to draw up a proposal for a framework for testing the cyber resilience of the banking and payment system in Norway. The framework will build on the TIBER-EU framework designed by the European Central Bank to promote financial stability. A national (TIBER-NO) framework will be elaborated in collaboration with the financial sector and relevant authorities.

Dependence on ICT service providers should be reduced

ICT service providers are crucial for the delivery of critical functions for the payment system. In our assessment, there is a need to reduce dependence on these service providers, so that switching provider where necessary can be efficient and secure. We will follow up through our supervisory and oversight work.

New solutions can provide gains, but also entail risks

New payment systems with proprietary digital currencies are being launched globally. Innovation and competition can contribute to a more efficient payment system, but these solutions also entail risks. We will contribute to elaborating and other measures that enable gains to be realised at an acceptable risk.

Central bank money must be available and easy to use

Today, most payments are made using deposit money. This is money created by banks. Cash is issued by the central bank. Even though deposit money is used the most, we have advocated that money issued by the central bank must continue to be available and easy to use. This is because central bank money has attributes that ensure confidence in the monetary system and an efficient payment system.

Like many other central banks, Norges Bank is considering whether it may become necessary to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as a supplement to banknotes and coins.

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 19 May 2020 12:30
Edited 26 May 2020 09:10
Published 19 May 2020 12:30
Edited 26 May 2020 09:10