Latvian central bank upgrades instant payment services

The council of Latvijas Banka, the country's central bank, said September 26 it had approved amendments to its "Instant Links" service, a measure it said would promote "wider use of the Registry in innovative payment services."

Latvijas Banka has developed and maintains the Proxy Registry "Instant Links" storing the links between the credit institutions' customer account IBANs and mobile phone numbers. The Registry also stores other identifiers linked to customer accounts (e.g. e-mail address, ID card number) that can be easily used for making instant payments. The Proxy Register "Instant Links" can be used for executing instant payments as well as other payments, including intra-credit institution payments, more easily.

"To promote wider availability of the Proxy Registry "Instant Links" and the related payment services, the possibilities of using the information entered in the Registry have been extended, providing that it can be used for the preparation of various types of payments including payment requests. This will enable merchants of Latvia and other countries to use the modern payment infrastructure maintained by Latvijas Banka to provide new payment services and modernise the existing ones.

Besides, Estonian credit institutions are soon expected to join the Registry and start using the offered opportunities in their payment services, thus enhancing Baltic cooperation in the creation of innovative payments," the central bank said in a statement.

The amendments will take effect on 10 October 2019.

28 August 2019 marked two years since Latvia became the first euro area country to introduce instant payments – innovative, modern, instant interbank transfers available 24/7, including on weekends and holidays. Overall, approximately 6.5 million instant payments totalling about 1.3 billion euro have been made.

It is projected that the number of the commercial banks using the instant payment infrastructure will continue on an upward trend and that the existing users will also expand the use of instant payments in their products, thus making instant payments available to more than 99% of bank customers in Latvia.

The central bank will soon host its annual conference, as previously reported by LSM.


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