Another step in advancing competition in the payments field – Opening access to the payments systems to new participants
The Bank of Israel is working to advance competition in the payments field, and encourages the provision of access to the payments systems for new nonbank entities. As such, the Bank of Israel is removing an entry barrier to new participants in the payments field, and has instructed the Banking Settlement Center (Masav) and the participants in the system to set out rules for the participation of nonbank payment service providers, such as credit card companies now, and various fintech companies later on, in the payments systems. As part of this, system participants are prohibited from unreasonably refusing to represent such entities.
This instruction will enable the entry of additional participants to the payments field, including the credit card companies that were previously restricted in their ability to act as payment system participants without obtaining representation by existing participants in Masav. This measure will help increase competition in the payments field, and encourage innovation in the means of payment.
As part of the instruction, the entities with a representation obligation are listed, and the representation conditions are laid out, including the requirement that the entity must be a supervised entity. Furthermore, the instruction relates to various issues, including the layers of representation (settlement representation, representation in the Masav system rules, and technical representation), tools for representation, selecting the representation model, fee collection, and timetables for preparation.
This measure comes in addition to other measures being promoted by the Bank of Israel in the payments field (such as the formulation of models for indirect participation in the Masav system, the provision of an identification code to payment services providers, and more).
The Bank of Israel calls on entities that meet the requirements of the instruction to contact Masav participants in order to examine representation, and to operate within the payments system in Israel. The full instruction (in Hebrew) can be viewed at this link.