Press release - 5. meeting of the National Payments Council

06/10/2016 / Press release

NPC briefed on news in payment services market, and discusses and approves annual report for 2015 and proposed amendments to its rules of procedure

The National Payments Council (NPC), whose objectives as a strategic consultation and communications body are to support the balanced and sustainable development of the market for safe and efficient payment services in Slovenia, and to ensure that the market adapts to changes in the international environment, held its fifth meeting at the Bank of Slovenia on 9 June 2016.

At the meeting a presentation was given by the Bank of Slovenia representative on trends in the area of payments abuse and initiatives on the part of European authorities to improve the security of (currently) the most vulnerable payment channel: the world wide web. A key role in this is played by the European Central Bank (in conjunction with the other central banks of the Eurosystem) and the European Banking Authority, who are drawing up security requirements on the basis of the revised Directive on Payment Services (the PSD2), which must be implemented in national legal systems by 13 January 2018. The amended European legislation introduces a number of new security requirements to ensure a safe market for payment services and user confidence, whereby the key requirements relate to strong payer authentication and secure communications between payment service providers. Those in attendance at the meeting of the NPC gave the presentation their due consideration.

There was also discussion of the subject of instant payments, i.e. retail electronic payments that are permanently available (24/7/365) and where the payee’s account is credited or the amount of the payment is made available to the payee immediately or almost immediately after the payment order is submitted by the payer. Solutions for instant payments are already in use in certain European countries, but generally provide for their execution solely within the framework of a particular business model. For the purpose of designing a pan-European solution the European Payments Council has drawn up a proposed scheme (a package of commercial and technical rules and standards) for instant payments, which is undergoing public discussion until 10 July 2016. The representative of the Bank Association of Slovenia presented the proposed scheme for instant payments and the position of Slovenian banks with regard to the proposed scheme. Those in attendance at the meeting of the NPC gave the presentation their due consideration, and during the debate expressed their positions with regard to the proposed scheme for instant payments as presented.

Later in the meeting the two representatives of the Bank Association of Slovenia (BAS) gave a presentation on progress in the areas of (i) the introduction of the new optically readable code on the universal payment order (UPO) and (ii) e-mandates in SEPA direct debit schemes. Given the potential benefits to various stakeholders in the payment services market, both subjects have already been discussed within the framework of the NPC. A proposal for the new UPO form that contains an optically readable element and a proposed timetable for its introduction were presented at the meeting of the NPC. Accordingly the new UPO form could be in use as early as the first half of next year, once all the necessary technical documentation has been prepared. The representative of the SEPA direct debits task force briefed those in attendance on the activities being undertaken within the framework of the aforementioned task force with regard to putting in place a solution or model for the use of e-mandates in SEPA direct debits. She also presented the precepts for the establishment and upgrade of the existing e-invoicing system, in which the solution for the exchange of e-mandates in SEPA direct debits is also included. Those in attendance at the NPC meeting resolved to continue supporting the activities underway in the two aforementioned areas.

In its role as the secretariat of the NPC, the Bank of Slovenia outlined the requisite amendments to the NPC’s rules of procedure, which regulate its methods of work, with regard to the management of the NPC. The proposed amendments to the rules of procedure were passed, with the requisite majority of the members of the NPC and with the mandatory consent of the presiding member.

In accordance with its rules of procedure the NPC approved the annual report on its work in the previous year, which is published on the Bank of Slovenia website, also all support material that was discussed at the fifth meeting of the NPC  (available only in slov. language).

More about NBC here.