All payments require an underlying infrastructure
Published: 15 December 2022
In order for us to pay, we need payment instruments, such as cash, a card or a mobile phone, and equipment at the payment recipient’s premises, such as a cash register or card terminal. Payments also require an underlying infrastructure. For example, cash requires ATMs, transport and storage systems. Both ATMs and cards require a digital infrastructure.
The underlying infrastructure involves many elements and many actors. All parts of the payment process need to work in order for payments to be made securely. Consequently, it is important that both private and public actors involved in the execution of a payment cooperate with each other. For example, the Riksbank leads the group for private-public co-operation in the financial sector (FSPOS), a forum that was set up to help ensure that critical financial services always work. The forum’s participants come from public institutions in the financial sector and the private business sector.
Most payments in Sweden go through the Riksbank’s system
RIX is the Riksbank’s settlement system where credit institutions, clearing organisations, the Riksbank and the Swedish National Debt Office complete payments with one another, known as settlement. Apart from card payments that go through the card systems (see Illustration 3) and Swish payments, almost all electronic payments in Swedish kronor that go from one bank to another pass through RIX. Currently, Swish payments are settled in a private system called BiR (Betalningar i Realtid), but the plan is that these will also start to go through RIX in 2023 (see Swish payments may start to be settled in RIX-INST in 2023).