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BIS committee sets up cross-border payments task force


The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is setting up a task force on defining common features of cross-border payment service levels.

BIS's Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) has been working on a multiyear programme on improving cross-border payments since Saudi Arabia made it a priority of its G20 presidency.

The latest stage sees the committee call on managers of service level agreements (SLAs) and payment schemes to nominate senior representatives to a newly established task force focused on ensuring consistency between agreements.

Starting in early 2022, the task force will meet every six to eight weeks, and its findings will feed into the development of a service level template that stakeholders can use as a starting point when establishing agreements. It will not suggest any specific service levels but will reflect how the elements relevant for cross-border payments can be addressed consistently.

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Better cross-border payments, a key G20 goal, is high on the agenda of central banks. The aim is to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper, more transparent and more accessible to all, while maintaining their safety and security. To achieve this, both the public and private sectors must make progress on the technology and infrastructure fronts as well as on the relevant policy and regulatory frameworks. The ambitious multi-year G20 cross-border payments programme (FSB (2020); CPMI (2020a) and (2020b)) reflects the multi-faceted nature of these necessary improvements. Following stocktaking and analysis, the G20 programme is now moving into the design phase and will help to set the direction for public and private infrastructure investments.

Greater interoperability between payment systems across borders, both regionally and globally, is essential to these efforts. Achieving interoperability with existing and new payment infrastructures requires coordination and collaboration. Acknowledging this need, more than half the G20 programme’s19 building blocks relate to harmonising, standardising and applying common features to payment systems. In parallel, the BISIH projects show how innovation can speed progress among central banks and other participants. With a coordinated and sustained initiative supported by both private and public sectors, we can expect to see the necessary improvements and the development of a broad range of cross-border payment services to support the changing ways we live and transact. Failure to achieve these goals has material costs, carrying with it the risk of fragmenting the global financial system. The stakes are high'


Edited by HAL1000
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