BSP issues rules for RTGS PS participants

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued rules for the participants in the Peso Real Time Gross Settlement Payment System (RTGS PS), an infrastructure that provides real-time settlement of payments, funds transfer instructions, or other obligations individually on a transaction-by-transaction basis, in order to ensure the smooth flow of funds in the financial system.

The rules comprise the first policy issuance of the BSP in its capacity as the RTGS PS operator under Republic Act No. 11127 or the National Payment System Act (NPSA).

The newly approved rules adhere to the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMI) jointly developed by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

“By complying with the PFMI, the rules aim to ensure that the RTGS PS will have in place the necessary safeguards that are in accordance with global best practices,” explained BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla.

The PFMI consists of 24 principles that apply to financial market infrastructures (FMIs), 18 of which pertain to systemically important payment systems (SIPS), such as the RTGS PS.

The rules issued under BSP Memorandum No. M-2022-0049 dated 22 November 2022 require all RTGS PS participants to comply with all laws and regulations on payment systems and provide for penalties and sanctions.

RTGS PS participants include the BSP and financial institutions maintaining settlement accounts with the BSP, entities that are sponsored into settlement, as well as FMIs, clearing switch operators, and critical service providers within the RTGS ecosystem.

Aside from formally bringing the RTGS PS operations up to par with international best practices, the new rules are expected to promote inclusivity among RTGS PS participants.

“The rules will broaden access to the RTGS PS by allowing more financial institutions to participate in this critical infrastructure for large-value payments,” Governor Medalla added.

Toward this end, the BSP has streamlined the qualification requirements for prospective members of the real-time payment system. Thus, non-bank e-money issuers and other entities may now settle their retail transactions through the RTGS PS without the need for sponsorship by existing participants.

Last year, the BSP designated the RTGS PS as a SIPS under the NPSA. SIPS are payment systems that pose or have the potential to pose systemic risk to the stability of the national payment system. SIPS are subject to periodic assessment and closer supervision by the BSP to better preserve public interest and promote confidence in the use of payment systems.