Press release after Second Meeting of the National Payments Council - 19 December 2014

12/23/2014 / Press release

The second meeting of the National Payments Council (NPC) was held at the Bank of Slovenia on 19 December 2014. The Bank of Slovenia established the NPC with the aim of supporting the balanced and sustainable development of the market for safe and efficient payment services in Slovenia. The NPC is a platform that in the presence of the Bank of Slovenia and other public authorities provides a place for representatives of the supply and demand sides of the payment services market to meet, coordinate their interests, set their priorities and resolve any disagreements.

At the meeting the secretariat of the NPC gave a briefing on the activities carried out under the aegis of the NPC in its first year of existence, and members of the NPC or their deputies were invited to express their opinions of the NPC’s work to date and their expectations, aims and views of its future activity.

The Bank of Slovenia, which is responsible for drafting the proposed legislation, then outlined the relevant options for the implementation of Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (the PAD) and the projected plan for the implementation of the directive in national legislation. The implementation of this directive, which must be undertaken by 18 September 2016, will ensure greater transparency and comparability at EU level in connection with bank fees related to payment accounts, will introduce unified rules for easier payment account switching, and above all will ensure that all European consumers legitimately residing in the EU have access to a basic payment account, irrespective of nationality, residence or financial status.

The representatives of the Bank Association of Slovenia introduced two subjects in the area of payment services which, given their potential benefits for various stakeholders on the market, are worthy of discussion by the NPC, namely (a) the possibility of introducing a new optically readable code on the UPN [universal payment order] form for the purpose of more efficient data capture from paper payment orders and (b) challenges in the further development of direct debits in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in connection with the possibility of issuing mandates for SEPA direct debits via electronic channels (e-mandates). Members of the NPC expressed great interest in designing and implementing the appropriate solutions, and will continue to discuss the two subjects within the framework of the platform provided by the NPC. They also discussed the acceptance of the enforcement draft as a new instrument for securing claims and the experience of its use.

Members of the NPC were briefed on certain topical aspects of virtual currencies and their use for the needs of payment, and on views and warnings of risks in connection with transactions in virtual currencies issued by various competent authorities, including the European Banking Authority and the Bank of Slovenia. Members of the NPC were also briefed on the activities and work results of the Euro Retail Payments Board, which at the EU level discusses similar subjects in a similarly broad composition as the NPC.

In its role as the secretariat of the NPC, in 2014 the Bank of Slovenia began issuing the NPC E-Bulletin, which contains payments-related news from Slovenia, the EU and further afield, to provide the latest news in the area of payment services for members of the NPC. Given its content, a resolution was passed at the meeting stating that in future the NPC E-Bulletin it is to be published on the NPC’s public website, thus making it available to a wider audience in the profession. The material discussed at the second meeting of the NPC is also published on the aforementioned website.