Payment systems are a set of instruments, procedures and arrangements that facilitate the transfer of funds or securities among their participants.
For a structure to be a payment system (securities settlement system), it should fulfill the following criteria:
- It should involve at least 3 participants,
- Money (securities) should circulate in an electronic environment,
- It should be subject to common rules.
Smooth functioning of the payment systems is critically important for the stability of the financial system, the monetary policy implementations of central banks, and economic growth. Therefore, the contagion risk from any problem in the payment systems to the various parts of the financial system increase the importance of payment systems.
Due to these systems’ critical role in maintaining financial stability, the operation of payment systems as well as their oversight and regulation based on internationally recognized standards are among the fundamental duties of all central banks.