Objectives - Standards
The payment systems oversight policies document has established a clear framework on the scope of application, methods, standards, and tools it applies in oversight activities.
The Bank of Albania bases its objectives of payment systems oversight on regulations, standards, and policies for the different entities subject to the scope of application of this function. Within this framework, the scope and intensity of oversight may vary depending on importance of each entity, and the financial market infrastructure evolution, taking into account all elements that may impair the smooth functioning of the payments system.
Payment systems oversight standards provide the benchmark for promoting the safety and efficiency in licencing, regulation and oversight of important elements in the Financial Markets Infrastructure.
Monitoring and assessing these entities in relation to the safety and efficiency and proposals for amendments, where necessary, is the main activity of the Bank of Albania in this aspect.
The main oversight standards are those of the European Central Bank (ECB), and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on financial market infrastructure, and national standards when necessary, based on the most recent developments at home.
- Regulation "On the licensing, regulation and oversight of payment system and clearing house operators" (Albanian version).
- Regulation "On the licensing, regulation and oversight of national card payment schemes operators".
- Regulation "On licensing regulation and oversight of securities settlement operators".
Criteria and distinction between payment systems
Bank of Albania for the classification of payment systems, in order to oversee them, has approved a set of criteria approved through Regulation 37/2018 "Oversight Policy on Payment and Settlement Systems". These classification criteria are based on the criteria set by the European Central Bank.
In principle a payment system is defined as Systemically Important Payment SIPS) if:
a) it implements the settlement principle and it should be established under the definitions of the law "On the Payments System" in relation to payments systems and the clearing houses,
b) it completes at least two of the following criteria within a calendar year:
i) The average daily value of the processed payments should be over ALL 1,300 billion or the equivalent of this amount in foreign currency;
ii) its market share is at least one of the following:
- Occupies at least 15 % of the total volume of payments on a common market level (such as the European Union),
- Occupies at least 5 % of total volume of cross-border payments in this market,
- Occupies at least 75 % of total volume of payments in the country at which it operates;
iii) its cross-border activity (i.e. participants established in a country other than that of the system operator and/or cross border links with other payment systems) includes five or more European Union countries and generates a minimum of 33% of the total volume of payments in the common currency processed by that system;
iv) it is used for the settlement of other FMIs.
It is worth noting that a large value payment system regardless of its classification must respect the oversight principles of Systemically Important Payment SIPS). On the other hand, a retail value payment system which does not meet the above criteria, but its activity occupies 25% or more of the market share in which it operates is classified as "Prominently Important Retail Payment System-PIRPS". Finally, systems that do not meet any of these criteria are classified as "Other Retail Payment Systems".
For the purposes of oversight of payment system Bank of Albania has conducted the exercise of classification of the system for the year as per the defined criteria on Regulation 37/2018 ”Oversight Policy on Payment and Settlement Systems” presented alson in this section. Based on the results of this exercise:
• Bank of Albania will treat AIPS system for the excercising year 2021 as a Systemically Important Payment SIPS) despite not meeting all the classification criteria and as such the relevant principles and requirements of its oversight will continue to respect the oversight principles of Systemically Important Systems.
• In the meantime, the AECH system based on the results will be considered as a Prominently Important Retail Payment PIRPS) for retail value payments, and consequently will be subject to specific oversight requirements based on the Eurosystem policy framework.