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Payments & securities

The tasks of the Eurosystem

The Eurosystem has the statutory task of promoting the smooth operation of payment and settlement systems (see Article 127(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Articles 3 and 22 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank).

The Eurosystem fulfils its tasks in the following way:

  • It provides payment and securities settlement facilities, operating a real-time gross settlement system for large-value euro payments (T2), as well as a pan-European service (TARGET2-Securities, or T2S) to allow central securities depositories to settle securities transactions using central bank money. The Eurosystem operates TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) to settle retail payments instantly and around the clock, every day of the year. The Eurosystem also operates a mechanism that allows the cross-border use of collateral (CCBM), which will be replaced by the Eurosystem Collateral Management System (ECMS) in late 2024. The ECMS will unify how assets are used as collateral in Eurosystem credit operations.

  • It establishes oversight policies and corresponding standards for large-value payment systems, retail payment systems and payment instruments, clearing systems, securities settlement systems and some third-party service providers. It also conducts oversight activities for the respective system infrastructures, assessing their compliance with the applicable policies and standards and, where necessary, induces change.

  • It establishes business continuity requirements for market infrastructures and coordinates implementation work.

  • It monitors and, where necessary, develops a stance on market developments and legal initiatives affecting the oversight of infrastructures and arrangements for payments, clearing and securities settlement.

  • It acts as a catalyst for change, promoting efficient payment systems and, in the field of retail payments, contributes to the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area. It also promotes an efficient securities market by fostering the harmonisation of market standards and encouraging the removal of barriers to integration.

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