A payment system is a set of institutions, markets and supporting infrastructure for financial markets with regard to payments, clearing and settlement of financial instruments. As a component of this system, the clearing and settlement infrastructure plays an essential role related to financial stability and overall economic development. Moreover, the effective implementation of the monetary policy is based on the existence of a safe and efficient payment system.
A payment system is a set of instruments, procedures and rules for the transfer of funds among participants in the system based on agreement between the participants in the system and the system operator. The funds are transferred through a special technical infrastructure.
The Bank of Albania plays a principal role in promoting a normal, safe and efficient functioning of the payments system. To this end, the Bank of Albania acts as the operator, overseers, catalyst and reformer of the system.
The Bank of Albania provides settlement and clearing services through:
- AIPS (Albanian Interbank Payment System) for large-value payments
- AECH (Albanian Electronic Clearing House) for small value payments
and promotes the securities trading through:
- AFISaR (Albanian Financial Instrument Settlement and Registration) for government securities.
The Bank of Albania facilitates the net settlement (manually processed in the system) of cheques and cards-initiated payments (VISA and MasterCard) initiated and settled in the national currency, as well as the settlement in AIPS of the cash leg for Government Securities transactions (bills and bonds denominated in the national currency) which are generated through the AFISaR.
Taking into account the uniqueness of these systems in the Albanian market, the Bank of Albania contributes substantially to the normal functioning of the economy, financial stability and market effectiveness and integration.
The Bank of Albania regulates, licences, and oversees the clearing and settlement of payments and securities.
Payment instruments, as an integral part of the payment systems, are also at the focus of the Bank of Albania. Hence, the Bank of Albania contributes to promoting an efficient and reliable financial system, and maintains public confidence in the cash and other payment instruments.
In its roles as the catalyst and reformer of the payments systems, the Bank of Albania supports the development of financial markets and of efficient and safe payments, by fostering cooperation and development.
To achieve this objective, the Bank of Albania uses its expertise in the field of payment systems and shares it with the market players through regular consultations and coordinated meetings with representatives of the private and public sectors. The National Payments System Committee of Albania is a good example to illustrate this point.
The Bank of Albania fosters developments in the aspects of payments through various publications and studies.