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  A national payments system comprises a set of payment instruments, procedures and rules whereby funds are transferred among participants to facilitate the circulation of money within the country and internationally. The participants are banks (including the Central Bank) and other financial institutions which settle payments among themselves, both on behalf of customers and on their own behalf. A national payments system is therefore a core component of the broader financial system and could be viewed as the infrastructure that provides the economy with the channels for processing domestic and international payments resulting from financial transactions that take place on a daily basis.

In 2005, the Central Bank embarked on a comprehensive plan to modernize the payments and settlement infrastructure to bring our systems in line with international best practice in terms of their design, operation and legal underpinnings. The goals of the reform are to strengthen the legal framework for the payment and settlement systems, reduce inefficiencies and remove potentially serious systemic risks. One of the major elements of the reform is the launch of a Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system for the settlement of large-value, inter-bank payments. The RTGS system will replace CIFTS and form the core of the national payments system providing a crucial mechanism for reducing and controlling systemic risk.

The National Payments Council (NPC) which was established in August 2005 to oversee the reforms, serves as a continuing forum to secure commitment and cooperation and ensures that the payments system serves the interests of all stakeholders. The NPC comprises the major payments system stakeholders and includes financial institutions, financial regulators, the Ministry of Finance, with the Central Bank playing a leadership and facilitating role.

The Bank of Jamaica
Nethersole Place
Jamaica, West Indies
Tel: (876) 922-0750