Payments Systems - Approval Process

The Central Bank of Ireland (the 'Central Bank') is responsible for approving the establishment of new payment systems in Ireland under Section 7 of the Central Bank Act 1997 (the "Act"). Section 9 of the Act provides the Central Bank with the power to approve the rules of payment systems proposing to establish in the State. The Act also provides the Central Bank with the power to determine the form of any such application for approval, and the required particulars contained therein. Furthermore, the Act provides for such approval to be contingent on conditions or requirements, as determined by the Central Bank.

Pre-application process

Submission of Key Facts Document - The purpose of the Key Facts Document (KFD) is to provide the Central Bank with information on, amongst other things, the payment system's business model, corporate structure and the infrastructure supporting its operations. This is to understand the applicant’s proposal and to identify any significant issues, which might affect an application from progressing to authorisation in as timely a manner as possible. Following submission, the Central Bank will seek clarifications in relation to the content of the KFD. This could necessitate the amendment and resubmission of the KFD to the Central Bank. The Key Facts Document (KFD) requirements for a payment system can be obtained from the Central Bank upon request to paymentsystemspolicy@centralbank.ie.

Engagement - Once the KFD is deemed sufficient by the Central Bank, the applicant firm will be invited to a series of meetings with the Central Bank concerning specific aspects of the submission. These meetings will discuss areas that may require further consideration by the applicant prior to the submission of a full application.

Formal application process

Once the proposed payment system has completed the pre-application process, a formal application can be submitted to the Central Bank. As per Section 9(1) of the Act, all applications received by the Central Bank must be approved or refused within 3 months of the date of submission. Furthermore, Section 9(1)(a) of the Act states that the Central Bank can make its approval subject to conditions or requirements.

For further information on the application process, please contact the Payment Systems Policy & Oversight team at paymentsystemspolicy@centralbank.ie.