Regional Payments Week 2017

The Regional Payments Week 2017 was held in Lima, Peru on September 11-14, 2017 under the coordination of the World Bank Group, CEMLA and the Reserve Central Bank of Peru, with the special collaboration of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI) of the Bank of International Settlements. 

The Regional Payments Week gathers authorities and practitioners in charge of regulating, overseeing, promoting and operating payments and market infrastructures from Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2017 edition had the participation of more than 70 delegates from central banks, banking supervisory bodies, securities markets regulators, international organizations and private sector entities that delivered on topical issues ranging from FinTech, digital currencies and other technological driven changes in payments and securities, cyber security, the role of RTGS in the new landscape, developments in payment cards markets, cross-border payments challenges, and digital payments for financial inclusion. 

The following summarizes the key messages that were exchanged at the meeting:

  1. Technological innovations are changing the payments landscape in all over the region. In dealing with novelties, developments and resulting challenges, central banks must take an active role in analyzing, monitoring and addressing such changes, either from regulatory, supervisory, operational or catalyzing perspectives, in order to ensure the correct functioning of the payments and market infrastructures underpinning a whole new ecosystem. 
  2. Digital currencies provided by central banks may become part of the tomorrow’s context characterized by efforts towards cashless and digital economies. Since conceptual and practical considerations to implement a digital currency of legal tender go beyond payments or market infrastructures, central banks will require time to test and learn the various issues involved. 
  3. FinTech phenomenon is gaining relevance across the region affecting aspects such as financial inclusion, risk management, payment product design, among others. From the various changes, cyber and regulatory issues might merit an immediate response from central banks and other relevant financial authorities, as well as from other stakeholders.
  4. Adoption of payment methods, long-lasting education efforts and policies focused on the alignment of incentives should be part of financial inclusion strategies associated with payments. 
  5. While payment cards are gaining space -together with other non-paper based instruments- in users’ preferences, barriers around concentrated market structures, delays in adoption of new technologies and the lack of transparency hinder a more competitive and inclusive performance of said payment instruments.