CENTROlink sets new payment records
Over the first eight months of 2020, the number of payments made within the Bank of Lithuania’s payment system CENTROlink exceeded the number reached throughout the course of 2019. A total of more than 70,000 instant payments are made daily through the CENTROlink infrastructure.
"This year a new record was already set, which has been largely determined by the development and growth of electronic money and payment institution (EMI/PI) services within the fintech sector. By offering innovative services and advanced payment solutions, such financial institutions are strengthening their footing in payment markets. With customers of payment service providers increasingly opting for instant payments, the share of such enterprises and, consequently, the number of instant payments in the CENTROlink system, are steadily growing,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
Over the first eight months of 2020, more than 50 million payments (compared to 43 million in 2019) were made within CENTROlink, with their value reaching €80 billion (in 2019 – €88 billion). Today, CENTROlink services are used by more than 130 payment service providers established in 13 EU countries. Since the beginning of the year, 29 companies have joined the system, while nearly 30 more are currently in the final stages of preparation to become its participants. Having continued to grow in 2020, the share of EMI/PI payments within CENTROlink currently exceeds 80% of all payments executed through the system, which is then followed by the share held by banks and credit unions. In 2020, the number of instant payments increased by one and a half times compared to the whole of 2019, while the number of financial institutions engaged in the provision of such services, compared to 2018–2019, doubled.
Access to CENTROlink is granted only to financial institutions of impeccable reputation. This year alone, almost a third of applications have already been rejected after risk assessment procedures. The activities and transactions of system participants are closely monitored and, in case of any doubts regarding adequacy of their operational risk and anti-money laundering measures, access to the system may be suspended or terminated. As a result, 10 institutions have already been denied access to the system since 2016. In 2020, seeking to manage risks and ensure the reliability of the payment system, the Bank of Lithuania introduced additional payment monitoring tools.
CENTROlink is a payment system operated by the Bank of Lithuania that provides technical access to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and TARGET2 settlement system for all types of payment service providers – banks, credit unions, electronic money or payment institutions – licensed in the European Economic Area. Once participants of the CENTROlink system, they can offer instant payments 24/7/365, as well as standard credit transfers and direct debit services.