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New chapter on payment systems statistics

Banco de Portugal starts this month the publication of a set of new information on payment systems in Portugal, including data on the evolution of the different payment instruments made available by the national banking system to its customers.
These tables constitute Chapter J – Payment Systems Statistics – of the Statistical Bulletin, and are also available through the BPstat | Estatísticas online |.
Formerly, only part of this information was published in the Statistical Bulletin (Tables “B.11.1 – Transactions in the net settlement system – Submitted by type of system”, “B.11.2 - Transactions in the net settlement system – Returned by type of system” and “B.11.3 - Transactions in the gross settlement system – By type of system”), Banco de Portugal Annual Report (Chapter “Activities of the Bank”), the Payment Systems Report and the Blue Book (disclosed by the European Central Bank). Banco de Portugal now has a wider range of statistical information available on: (i) overall characterisation of the Portuguese payment systems; (ii) interbank clearing and settlement systems in Portugal; and (iii) payment instruments in the interbank clearing and settlement systems.
Three examples on how this information can be used may be found below: (i) payment systems infrastructures in Portugal; (ii) transactions processed through the clearing and settlement systems in Portugal; and (iii) payment instruments in the clearing and settlement systems.

a) Payment systems infrastructures in Portugal


Table J.1.5 presents data on the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (POS) terminals in Portugal. These data show an increase in the number of electronic infrastructures, contributing to a more efficient payment system.

The number of POS terminals at the disposal of banking customers, made available by the credit institutions operating in Portugal, has registered a steady growth over the last years, confirming the rapid modernisation of the domestic payment system.

At the end of 2008 there were 16.9 thousand ATM and around 226.1 thousand POS, corresponding to an average annual increase of 7% and 12%, respectively, when compared to 2001.
Comparing Portugal with the remaining European Union countries, and taking the number of ATM and POS terminals per million inhabitants, it can be concluded that Portugal is considerably above the average (186% of the European Union average for ATM and 130% for POS).

<span>ATM and POS terminals in Portugal</span>
(Volume in thousands)
 2001 200320062008
 <acronym title=" Automated Teller Machine ">ATM</acronym><br />      (% of EU average*)10.5<br /> 154%12.0<br /> 153%14.7<br /> 182%16.9<br /> 186%
 <acronym title=" Point Of Sale ">POS</acronym><br />      (% of EU average*)103.6<br /> 84%125.5<br /> 84%173.7<br /> 107%226.1<br /> 130%

* (number of ATM/POS terminals per million inhabitant in Portugal) / (number of ATM/POS terminals per million inhabitant in the EU)*100
Sources: Banco de Portugal Statistical Bulletin (Table J.1.5), Blue Book

b) Transactions processed through the clearing and settlement systems in Portugal


Tables J.2.1 e J.2.3 show information on transactions processed through the interbank settlement system (made up of two complementary subsystems: real-time gross settlement and clearing).
Gross settlement is carried out through the TARGET2-PT (1); interbank clearing is carried out through SICOI (2).
In 2009 the gross settlement system (TARGET2-PT) processed 1.52 million operations to an approximate value of 5.7 trillion euros (3), equivalent to around 35 times the nominal value of GDP for the year.
TARGET2-PT was open on 256 days, with a 8.4% decrease in volume and a 1.1% rise in value, year-on-year. Comparing with 2008, this represents an inversion in terms of volume and a slowdown in terms of value.

Transactions processed through the interbank settlement system 
(Volume in millions and value in EUR billions)
          2008         2009       Change (%)
  Volume Value Volume Value VolumeValue 
Gross settlement (TARGET2-PT) 1.665,641.81.525,706.3 -8.41.1
Settlement through clearing - <acronym title=" Sistema de Compensação Interbancária">SICOI</acronym>1,753.3356.01,830.6339.14.4-4.7

Source: Banco de Portugal Statistical Bulletin (Tables J.2.1 and J.2.3)

c) Payment instruments in the clearing and settlement systems


The rises recorded by SICOI stem from the increased use of electronic payment instruments both in volume and in value. Interbank electronic transfers rose 12.2% in volume and 8.1% in value, and direct debits increased by 12.9% in volume and 0.3% in value. Multibanco, the nationwide ATM and EFTPOS network, recorded rates of change of 5.1% in volume and 4.7% in value.
On the other hand, paper-based payment instruments saw a drop in volume (down by 13.9% for cheques and 20.7% for bills of exchange) and in value (down by 17.4% for cheques and 22.7% for bills of exchange).

Transactions processed through the interbank clearing system (SICOI)
(Volume in millions and value in EUR billions)
         2008        2009    Change (%)
Bills of exchange0.
Electronic Funds Transfer System (TEI)70.4100.979.1109.112.28.1
Direct debits97.414.5110.014.612.90.3
Electronic Funds<br /> Transfer System (TEI) - legacy scheme70.3100.378.8107.012.16.7
Electronic Funds Transfer System (TEI) - SEPA* scheme0.

* Single Euro Payments Area
Source: Banco de Portugal Statistical Bulletin (Table J.2.3)

Table J.3.1 details the changes seen in the volume of returned cheques, broken down by main reasons for return. In 2009, 850 thousand cheques were returned, representing 0.78% of cheques submitted for clearing. From this table, it can also be concluded that: (i) in total and in absolute terms, returned cheques decreased by 11.2% from 2008 to 2009; (ii) cheques returned due to “insufficient funds in the account” declined by 11.2%, continuing to be the main reason for cheques being returned, corresponding to 75% of total cheques returned in 2009; (iii) the second main reason for cheques being returned remains “cheques revoked” with 69.5 thousand returns, corresponding to 8.2% of total cheques returned, despite the 38.5% decrease recorded in 2009. “Cheques presented after expiry date” accounted for 42.2 thousand returns, corresponding to 5% of total cheques returned.

Cheques returned per reason for return 
(Volume in thousands)
 <br /> Reason for return<br />  VolumeChange (%)<br />  Structure (%) 
Insufficient funds in the account718.5637.9-11.2 75.0 75.0
Cheque revoked113.169.5-38.511.88.2
Cheque presented after expiry date40.
Other reasons86.2100.716.89.011.8
As a percentage of cheques submitted for clearing0.76%0.78%   

Source: Banco de Portugal Statistical Bulletin (Table J.3.1)
Note: (1) This includes large-value cheques, that is, cheques with a value equal to or higher than 100 thousand euro(1) TARGET2-PT is the national component of the Real-Time Gross Settlement System of the Eurosystem, which basically settles large value transactions on an individual basis (without interbank clearing).
(2) SICOI is an interbank system managed by the Banco de Portugal, designed for clearing payment operations that are under 100 thousand euros, carried out with cheques, bills of exchange, direct debits, credit transfers and bank cards.
(3) Trillion euros = 1012 euros.