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Press release of the Banco de Portugal on the Report on Payment Systems – 2022

Today, the Banco de Portugal publishes the Report on Payment Systems, which describes developments in payment systems in Portugal and the main projects for the years ahead.

In 2022 the Portuguese made 3.7 billion retail payments, amounting to €655.5 billion.

In line with economic growth, payments in the Portuguese retail payment system – the interbank clearing system (SICOI) – increased by 16.2% in value and 20.8% in volume compared to 2021. 

Domestic consumers continued to prefer electronic payment instruments and made greater use of instant credit transfers than in 2021.

Electronic payment instruments were used in 99.7% of non-cash retail payments, i.e. 0.2 percentage points more than in 2021. Domestic instant credit transfers grew by 34.3% in volume and 54.4% in value, although they continued to account for a small share of retail payments.

Cards remained the most commonly used electronic means of payment on a day-to-day basis, and the use of contactless technology continued to increase.

Cards were used in 88.0% of payments processed in SICOI (86.5% in 2021). On average, there were 9 million card payments per day. The sharp upward trend in the use of contactless technology (cards and other mobile devices) continued: contactless purchases as a share of the total volume of card purchases reached 48.8% (8.2% before the pandemic). Online purchases with domestic cards increased by 28.4% in volume and 32.2% in value. Levels of fraud in the use of electronic payment instruments in Portugal remained very low. 

Pan-European instant credit transfers grew ten times in volume and six times in value.

The domestic community sent and received 7.5 million instant credit transfers, totalling €6.5 billion, via TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), operating at pan-European level.

The Portuguese component of the European large-value payment system – TARGET2-PT – processed €10.6 trillion, which was a record high equal to around 51 times Portuguese GDP.

In total, two million transactions were processed in TARGET2-PT, 13.0% more than in 2021. The record high value settled is the result of the rise in the European Central Bank’s official interest rates, which led to a surge in deposit facility operations.

The Portuguese community settled approximately 185.8 thousand securities transactions, amounting to €155 billion.

The Portuguese community’s securities transactions in TARGET2-Securities (the Eurosystem’s technical platform providing securities settlement services in central bank money) increased by 11.2% in value compared to 2021, despite declining by 10.3% in volume.

Preparations were finalised for the consolidation of TARGET2 with TARGET2-Securities and the TARGET Services evolution.

The new TARGET system was launched in March 2023 and represents the biggest transformation in European payment systems since 1999, when the euro was launched.

A new retail payments strategy will be implemented by 2025.

In 2022 the 42 initiatives of the National Strategy for Retail Payments | 2022 Horizon were completed and preparation for the next strategy for this area began, with outreach and transparency, security, innovation and efficiency, and resilience and sustainability as its drivers. 

The Banco de Portugal has launched the PAY project, which will reformulate the reporting of payment information and go live in stages between May 2023 and July 2024. 

The Banco de Portugal set up the Market Contact Group on the Digital Euro.

Investigation work on the digital euro continued, and its main objectives and design options were defined, should it be issued. The main objectives of the digital euro are to preserve the role of public money as a monetary anchor for the payment system and contribute to the strategic autonomy and economic efficiency of the euro area.