Bank of Lithuania

SEPA payment system

CENTROlink is a payment system operated by the Bank of Lithuania, providing the gateway to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Via its infrastructure, the Bank of Lithuania provides technical access to SEPA for all types of payment service providers (PSPs) – banks, specialized banks, credit unions, electronic money or payment institutions – licensed in the European Economic Area (EEA).

CENTROlink

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About CENTROlink

CENTROlink is a retail payment system, developed and operated by the Bank of Lithuania, which allows customers of financial institutions to execute euro payments swiftly and inexpensively. PSPs participating in the CENTROlink can offer their clients all SEPA payment services: credit transfers (SCT), direct debit transfers (SDD Core) and instant payments (SCT Inst). More information on how CENTROlink operates, acceptance of PSPs, their rights and obligations, payment orders processing procedure as well as risk management is available in the Operating Rules of CENTROlink (530.5 KB download icon) and Regulations on the Conclusion of the ABIC Agreement (375.2 KB download icon).

CENTROlink payment system is linked to the main European SEPA instant payment systems RT1 and TARGET Instant Payment System (TIPS), enabling financial institutions operating within the system to provide a one-stop shop for SEPA credit transfers and direct debits as well as for instant payments.

Main objectives of the instant payment service

  • Operational security.
  • 24/7/365 availability.
  • Convenience - in combination with other SEPA schemes.

 Indicator

2020

2021

2022

    2023

Number of payment service providers

136 

 149

148

143

Number of instant payment service providers

26 

 47

64

65

Number of PSPs from different EEA countries

14

 18

19

19

Number of payments, million

95.2 

 186.1

276.3

228.3

Number of instant payments, million

17.1 

 63.4

128.1

125.4
  • Payments outside the system, million

15.9

52.0

108.4

116.3
  • Internal payments, million

1.2

11.4

19.7

9.1

Instant payments as a percentage of total SEPA payments (SCT, SDD Core, SCT Inst), %

18

34

46

55

CENTROlink availability, %

99.0

99.0

99.6

99.6

Priorities for the development of the instant payments service

  • Direct link to the European Central Bank’s TIPS payment platform.
  • Fast and convenient payments by initiating payments based on the payee’s mobile phone number, using a Proxy Lookup Service.
  • Supplementing CENTROlink infrastructure services with a new request-to-pay processing functionality.
  • Introduction of new functionalities using modern technologies.

Benefits of participating in the system 

  • CENTROlink is the payment system managed by the central bank, which offers a wide range of SEPA scheme services: credit transfers, direct debit transfers and instant payments.
  • CENTROlink has links with the European payment systems STEP2, RT1 and TIPS, thus a PSP participating in CENTROlink gains access to the European payment systems without any additional expenses.
  • Independence from intermediaries: PSPs open IBAN accounts in their own systems from which they initiate payments by themselves.
  • All eligible PSPs – banks, specialized banks, credit unions, electronic money and payment institutions licenced in SEPA/EEA – can apply for CENTROlink connection.
  • There is no credit risk involved as payments are made using accounts opened with the central bank.
  • CENTROlink payment system does not impose additional limits on payment values, number of payments and number of issued IBAN accounts.
  • Automated liquidity management and access to its management during TARGET2 business hours.
  • An option to open customer deposit accounts and keep more funds than it is required to make payments.
  • As the system is built on a dual infrastructure model, the continuity of the system is ensured even under critical conditions.
  • PSPs have several connectivity options, including a secure internet connection.
  • A flexible process for joining CENTROlink, taking into account the individual readiness to join for each PSP.
  • Only trusted PSPs are eligible to join, following a thorough inspection based on the Know your Customer (KYC) and risk assessment process.
  • A simple fee structure and competitive rates.
  • A possibility to connect to the Bank of Lithuania’s Proxy Lookup Service. This service allows instant payments to be initiated based on the mobile phone number of a payee.

More information is available here.


How to get access

The main steps for connecting to the Bank of Lithuania payment system CENTROlink:

CENTROlink
Meeting
CENTROlink
 Questionnaire
CENTROlink
Risk assessment
CENTROlink
NDA
CENTROlink
Certificates
CENTROlink
Testing
CENTROlink
Agreement

CENTROlink

Start of Payments

Introduction meeting between the PSP and the CENTROlink representatives, presentation of the PSP business model and company needs, discussion about potential business relationship Completion and submission of the KYC questionnaire and supporting documents to the Bank of Lithuania Assessment of the PSP KYC information based on the KYC and risk assessment process and the final decision if PSP is offered to sign a non-disclosure agreement Signing of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between the PSP and the Bank of Lithuania. Granting access to CENTROlink technical documentation and submission of a request to connect to the system Signing of the certification agreement and issuance of CENTROlink system access certificates to PSP representatives PSP registration in CENTROlink and external payment system testing environments, performance of testing procedures, submission of a testing report to the Bank of Lithuania Additional internal KYC update. Signing of the CENTROlink participation agreement between the PSP and the Bank of Lithuania PSP registration in payment systems for the agreed Go-live date

 


Proxy Lookup Service

The Bank of Lithuania’s Proxy Lookup Service (PLS) allows participating PSPs to initiate payments (SCT and SCT Inst) using payee’s mobile phone number. To use the alias payment service, the user must give their consent in the bank’s mobile app to link their phone number to the selected IBAN account. To transfer money, the user simply needs to select the payee from their contact list in the mobile app or enter the payee’s phone number. A transfer is possible if the payee has also linked their phone number to an IBAN account.


Service fees

For detailed information of all CENTROlink service fees and billing procedures please refer to the Operating Rules of CENTROlink (530.5 KB download icon) and Regulations on the Conclusion of the ABIC Agreement (375.2 KB download icon).

The fee for the system services shall be calculated separately for each BIC of the system participant or ABIC holder.

CENTROlink


Contact us

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Last update: 23-08-2022