Payment systems

Payment and securities settlement systems are key elements of a country's economic and financial activity and, broadly speaking, constitute the infrastructure used to move assets within an economy. As a result, the smooth functioning of settlement systems is vital for financial stability.

Promoting the smooth functioning of payment systems is one of the Banco de España's functions. The Bank is also responsible for their oversight, which is the basic tool for identifying and assessing inherent risks, and for verifying that all systems are equipped with proper control mechanisms.

This section provides information on the payment and securities clearing and settlement systems that exist in Spain. It also details the main characteristics of the integration projects carried out in this field which cover the Euro area (Single Euro Payments Area or TARGET2-Securities). Furthermore, it contains information on the oversight of payment systems the main aspects of securities clearing and settlement and other relevant issues from the perspective of the Banco de España and the Eurosystem as a whole.

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Payment systems in Spain

The Spanish interbank payment system is structured around two systems: TARGET-Banco de España, for processing large-value payments; and the National Electronic Clearing System (SNCE), for small-value payments.

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Securities clearing and settlement systems in Spain

Central banks, as promoters of financial stability, pay close attention to the smooth functioning of the securities financial market infrastructures. These infrastructures are key elements for the financial markets due to the systemic risk they entail, since a problem on it can affect the payment systems where the transactions are settled, the smooth execution of the monetary policy and the financial system as a whole. A large part of the economy’s financial operations are channelled through these infrastructures.

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Oversight of Market Infrastructures

Payment systems provide essential services to the real economy, offering efficient mechanisms for the payment of any purchase of goods or services. Ensuring the smooth operation of payment systems has traditionally been the responsibility of central banks through their oversight function.