Western Hemisphere Payments and Securities Settlement Forum (WHF)


Adoption of the Red Book Statistics Methodology in Latin America and the Caribbean

A group of central banks from Latin America and the Caribbean, together with the Secretariat of the Working Group on Payment Systems Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean (WGPS-LAC), began the process of assessing the impact of adopting of the Methodology of the Red Book Statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The process comprises three stages:

  1. Identification of possible data gaps in case of adoption of this methodology
  2. Planning the adoption and training process for Central Banks of Latin America and the Caribbean
  3. Adoption and use of a new methodology, which will replace the current Yellow Book Statistics Methodology.

Currently, the group have identified the main data gaps and will soon start the consultation process with the WGPS-LAC members on the result of this assessment, to continue with the decision for a possible adoption of this new statistical framework.
The Red Book Statistics Methodology, currently used by central bank members of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) presents a considerable revision of the information on “Retail Payment Instruments ” in response to a context of new services and providers of these instruments. Likewise, the Methodology presents considerable changes regarding the reporting for market infrastructures in charge of trading.


Aspects of Financial Inclusion in Central Bank Digital Currencies

Mr. Raúl Morales Resendiz participated in the III Roundtable on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), organized by the Bank of Spain, the Bank of Canada, the Sveriges Riksbank and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Morales led the discussion on financial inclusion aspects in the decision-making process for the issuance of a CBDC. In his presentation, he highlighted that financial inclusion is important for economic growth and reducing inequality. From the perspective of a payment instrument, inclusion is important for all individuals and businesses to have access to a payment account, operated by a regulated payment service provider (PSP) at minimal or free cost, and to satisfy most, if not all, of your payment needs.

In this sense, a retail CBDC as a new payment instrument could contribute to broadening financial inclusion while contributing to the development of the national retail payments infrastructure. On the one hand, CBDCs designed for financial inclusion should be as easy, cheap, and safe to use as cash, which it should complement. It should be accessible to everyone and easy to use for seniors. Offline availability is a desired feature for reaching remote areas and for continuous functionality during infrastructure failures. On the other hand, the payment infrastructure must be aligned with an inclusive ecosystem with widely accessible points of sale. Finally, large and recurring payment volumes (eg social bonuses, public transportation) could be leveraged for rapid and mass adoption.



Payment, securities and financial assets clearing and settlement systems and arrangements, also known as payments and financial market infrastructures, are a fundamental piece for the smooth functioning of the economy and the essential backbone of the financial system. Gaps in their design, regulation, oversight and functioning may pose significant risks to the financial system and the wider economy.

Before 1999, payments and financial market infrastructures in the Latin America and the Caribbean varied widely in their efficiency, safety and general development. In response to this, the World Bank in partnership with the Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA) launched in January 1999 the Western Hemisphere Payments and Securities Clearing and Settlement Initiative*(WHI) to provide institutional support to central banks and other financial authorities in upgrading and modernizing existing systems and arrangements in consistency with international standards and best practices.

In 2003, the WHI evolved into a permanent technical cooperation central banking forum, the Western Hemisphere Payments and Securities Settlement Forum (WHF), also known as the Payments Forum. The WHF reflects the institutional capacity already created throughout the region and its institutional arrangements ensure the continuity to the efforts initiated within the context of the WHI.


Working Group on Payment System Issues of Latin America and the Caribbean (WGPS-LAC)

The Working Group on Payment System Issues of Latin America and the Caribbean was created in 2001 to follow up developments related to international policies and standards aimed at improving the safety and efficiency of payments and financial market infrastructures and to develop reference guides to such developments, as well as to carry out an educational effort among national market participants. Other activities of the Group comprise the following:

  • Exchange and discuss ideas, experiences and knowledge about operational, legal and economic aspects of payments and financial market infrastructures.
  • Prepare technical reports on relevant matters agreed upon.
  • Promote a community spirit among WGPS-LAC and IAC members.

The WGPS-LAC is currently hosted by CEMLA.

- Terms of Reference



Raúl Morales Reséndiz
Gerente de Infraestructuras y Mercados Financieros CEMLA





Yellow Book Statistics

The Yellow Book Statistics is an annual publication about payments and financial market infrastructures in Latin American and Caribbean Countries. The Statistics provides detailed tables for each individual country as well as various comparative tables. Queries related to the Yellow Book Statistics can be directed to the WHF Secretariat: (ghernandez@cemla.org).

Yellow Books

The Yellow Book series is aimed at providing a systematic and in-depth description of the payments, financial assets and securities clearing and settlement systems in each country, to a reader who has some familiarity with payments and financial market infrastructures issues. The WHF Core Team developed a standard methodology for structuring the Yellow Books, aimed at facilitating cross-country comparisons. The methodology follows the structure of the BIS Red Book. The Yellow Book is updated on demand by national central banks and the WHF Core Team assists the update of each report.

  • Argentina
    August, 2000
    In the mid-1990s, a reform of payment systems was carried out in Argentina as one of the decisions to achieve monetary and financial stability. This reform redefined the regulatory and operational framework for payment and securities clearing and settlement systems and the role of the Banco Central de la República Argentina and other supervisory and regulatory institutions.

  • Bolivia
    December 2004
    In the context of a reform of the financial system (1998) of Bolivia, the Law of the Banco Central de Bolivia (BCB) was amended, establishing that the BCB would formulate monetary, exchange and payment systems related policies. This led to a series of transformations that modernized payment systems.

  • Brazil
    September 2004
    As a result of a diagnosis of the situation of payment systems in Brazil, in 2002 the Sistema de Transferencias de Reservas (STR) and four new clearinghouses were established; and as for securities clearing and settlement, five systems were also established, one for derivatives and four for securities.

  • Chile
    December 2000
    By 2000, Chile already had a stable and growing financial system, as a result of previous economic reforms, specifically the reform of the financial sector in 1986.

  • Colombia
    December 2010
    In 1992, the Banco de la República began a continuous process of infrastructure development for the Colombian financial market in line with the need for more strengthened infrastructures.

  • Costa Rica
    June 2002
    Through the "Organic Law" of the Banco Central de Costa Rica, the Central Bank was assigned with the responsibility to organize and regulate the proper functioning of the Costa Rican Payment System; under this mandate and within the framework of the reforms to the financial system, in the 1990s, the initiative was established to develop a global payment system called the Sistema Interbancario de Negociación y Pagos Electrónicos (SINPE).

  • Ecuador
    December 2002
    Ecuador, like other Latin American and Caribbean countries, underwent a process of deep economic transformations throughout the nineties, including the modernization of the National Payments System (NPS).

  • El Salvador
    December 2002
    The Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador raised initiatives for the improvement of payment clearing and settlement processes, which can be summarized in the automation of cheque settlement, the establishment of an automated clearinghouse, the digitization of the securities trading system and the dematerialization of the securities issued by the Central Bank.

  • Guatemala
    June 2004
    In the 1990s, Guatemala implemented a series of stabilization and adjustment measures aimed at achieving greater economic efficiency, with a series of reforms. In the area of payment and settlement systems, given the importance of improving the efficiency and reliability of the payment system, the Payment System Committee, composed of Central Bank senior officials and a task force in charge of the development and implementation of reforms to the payment system, including the implementation of an automated clearinghouse and a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS).

  • Mexico
    March 2003
    In 1994, the Banco de Mexico initiated a comprehensive reform of payment systems to reduce moral hazard and achieve a high degree of safety and operational reliability in the clearing and settlement of payments. A new payment system was designed and developed with mechanisms for risk management and real-time settlement procedures.

  • Peru
    August 2000
    In 1998, recognizing the importance of improving the efficiency and reliability of payment and clearing and settlement systems, the Banco Central de Reserva del Peru organized an Interbank Payment Systems Commission (CISPA) as the launching point of the change in Payment systems

  • Dominican Republic
    March 2003
    Between 2000 to 2002, the Securities Market Law (LMV) and the Monetary and Financial Law (LMF) were approved, which determined changes in the country's payments and securities clearing and settlement systems. The LMF establishes that the payment system is a public service exclusively owned by the Banco Central de la República Dominicana (BCRD), which is responsible for acting as supervisor and final settlement agent, as well as for the regulation of its organization and operation, having as fundamental objectives to ensure the intermediation and the good end of the payments in these systems, as well as of the interbank market.

  • Trinidad and Tobago
    December 2002
    In the context of liberalization and globalization in the 1990s, new developments in the financial sector took place in Trinidad and Tobago, including updating the legislative framework for the Central Bank and deposit-taking financial institutions. Bank and non-bank laws were updated and merged to allow these institutions to operate more competitively

  • Eastern Caribbean Monetary Union
    December 2003
    Recognizing that a secure, reliable and efficient payment system is indispensable for the stability of the financial system, and convinced that security and efficiency in payment systems of major importance should be public policy objectives, the Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean ( ECCB) has a leading role in the payments and securities clearing and settlement systems in the countries that composed the monetary union.

  • Venezuela
    December 2002
    The analysis of payment and securities clearing and settlement systems in Venezuela contains a description of the economic context and the financial system and the main trends in payment systems and securities clearing and settlement systems. It describes the role of institutions such as the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV), institutional aspects regarding payments and securities

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