Payment Systems Division

 

The efficient functioning of the financial system relies on the soundness and safety of the National Payments System (NPS). The NPS consists of all systems which facilitate the clearance and settlement of payments. These comprise the large-value payments system, the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, and the retail payment systems such as the Cheques Clearing House, the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and the Automated Teller Machine network and the Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sales system for debit and credit cards. There are also a number of other players in the payments space including Payment Service Providers such as Bill Payment Service Providers and money remitters.

The Central Bank Act and the Financial Institutions Act were amended to empower the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to supervise and oversee the Inter-bank Payments System. The Central Bank Act allows for the “supervision of the operations of payments systems in Trinidad and Tobago generally, Inter-bank Payments System in accordance with the Financial Institutions Act and the transfer of funds by electronic means including money transmission or remittances business.” The Financial Institutions Act, 2008 upgraded the legal foundation for payments by among other things, enabling payment finality, and making explicit the Bank’s responsibility for payment system oversight and regulation. A number of payments system guidelines to support the legislative amendments were issued in 2012. The Central Bank adopted the internationally accepted standards, the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMI), on  October 20, 2014, as its benchmark for conducting oversight assessments of systems.

The Payments System Oversight Division contributes to the maintenance of financial stability through effective oversight of the operations of the Payments System in Trinidad and Tobago. Payment System Oversight is “a central bank function whereby the objectives of safety and efficiency are promoted by monitoring existing and planned systems, assessing them against these objectives and, where necessary, inducting change”. – Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems – May 2005. 

The work of the Payment Systems Oversight Division is disaggregated into four key areas as highlighted below. The Policy and Regulation function is mainly strategic and developmental, while the other three areas have both a routine and development element.

  1. Policy and Regulation;
  2. Licensing and Registration; 
  3. Oversight Assessment; and
  4. Payments Statistics (statistical Compilation, Analysis and Dissemination).

 

For further information on the Payments System Council please visit the payments system website