Payment systems

Making payments (e.g. for goods and services, monthly bills, rent, taxes and other levies) and receiving payments (wages, child benefit and other social transfers) is a vital part of our everyday life.

The most traditional means of payment is cash, where the payment is executed directly between the payer and the payee. Users also have other payment instruments at their disposal, where, irrespective of the type of instrument used, the aim is always the same: to transfer funds from the payer’s account to the payee’s account. One does so by issuing a payment order via his/her payment service provider. This can be done remotely (e.g. via electronic banking), or directly at a bank counter.

The execution of the payment order can then take place in several ways. When the payer and the payee have accounts open at the same payment service provider, the transfer of funds is executed internally. If they each have their accounts open at their own payment service provider, settlement is executed either through their so-called correspondent accounts, or mostly via payment systems. These constitute an agreement between payment system participants on joint rules for the transfer, verification, sorting and confirmation of orders, the clearing of money claims and liabilities, and settlement between the payment system participants. Payment systems with real-time gross settlement are distinguished from those with net settlement. In the former orders are settled individually and in real-time, while in the latter settlement does not take place in real time, but within predetermined windows when settlement merely comprises the difference between inward and outward orders.

This section describes the payment systems, which operate in line with the Slovenian law and via which the payments of Slovenian consumers, firms, public sector institutions and other entities are executed, and in which the Bank of Slovenia acts in at least one of its roles.