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Banco de Portugal publishes second National Strategy for Retail Payments, to be implemented by 2025

Today, the Banco de Portugal releases the National Strategy for Retail Payments 2025. This strategy builds on the National Strategy for Retail Payments | 2022 Horizon (in Portuguese only) and aims to contribute to the provision of secure, efficient and innovative payment solutions in the Portuguese market, fostering development of and competition within the sector.

The Strategy has been prepared by the Payment Systems Forum, an advisory structure of the Banco de Portugal that brings together the main national stakeholders involved in the supply and demand of retail payment services, including representatives of payment service providers, consumers, businesses and the general government.

The Strategy has four strands of development: (i) outreach and transparency; (ii) innovation and efficiency; (iii) security and usability; and (iv) resilience and sustainability. 

A set of lines of action has been established for each of these strands, to be implemented by the Payment Systems Forum by the end of 2025. 

Strand I — Outreach and transparency comprises lines of action aimed at increasing public knowledge of payment solutions and innovative initiatives in this context, such as instant credit transfers and the digital euro. Briefings on trends in fraud and scams and on security behaviour in payment transactions are also planned.

The actions under Strand II — Innovation and efficiency aim at creating technical and regulatory conditions that harmonise and facilitate payments, in particular electronic and instant payments. Among other initiatives, a proxy look-up solution will be implemented within the Interbank Clearing System (SICOI), consideration will be given to making it mandatory for businesses to accept one electronic payment solution, in addition to cash, and the range of electronic solutions for payments to the State made by domestic and foreign citizens and businesses will be extended. 

Under Strand III — Security and usability, strong customer authentication requirements will be monitored and alignment with European digital identity developments will be encouraged. A confirmation of payee solution within SICOI will also be developed and the introduction of mechanisms to control creditors in particular payment solutions will be considered, together with other concerted fraud and scam prevention measures. 

Under Strand IV — Resilience and sustainability, operational and security incidents that may affect the functioning of payment services will be studied and opportunities to reduce the environmental impact on the purchase/payment process will be identified.

The National Strategy for Retail Payments 2025 will guide the actions of the different stakeholders in the payments market until the end of 2025. 

The Banco de Portugal, the representatives of payment service providers, businesses and consumers, and general government bodies are committed to contributing to the implementation of this Strategy.

The proposed Strategy was subject to public consultation from 5 June to 5 July 2023. The report of this consultation can be found here (in Portuguese only).