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Podcast: Payment infrastructure for a digital era

Contactless payment in shop

New payment infrastructure should be managed by both central banks and the private sector, according to industry experts. 

In a new podcast, officials from ACI Worldwide and Mastercard discuss the evolving payment landscape and what role central banks should play. 

“Central banks can definitely operate systems from a technical perspective, but can they promote it, innovate on it, encourage businesses and consumers to use the system as well?” Mastercard's senior vice-president, George Evers, asks. 

In numerous jurisdictions, central banks are updating legacy payment infrastructure in both the wholesale and retail markets. In doing so, private sector companies are eager to ensure innovative products and services can be connected to new core infrastructure. 

“Co-operating between reguators, central banks, governments, and the private sector can work really well,” Evers says.

Historically, central banks have tended to operate and oversee payment system infrastructure in order to maintain financial stability. Craig Ramsey, head of real-time payments at ACI Worldwide, believes central banks should continue to offer the settlement layer – the pool of liquidity that enables participants to exchange transactions and  be assured the transaction will happen. 

If you have a core settlement layer, Ramsey says, there is then the option for multiple clearing platforms to leverage the inrastructure. “That is where the private sector can very easily provide different clearing infrastructure networking,” he says. 

But where the private sector potentially has the most potential to revolutionise payments is the ecosystem of the the users – the sphere in which participants, fintechs and banks operate. 


00:00 Introduction

00:55 Key drivers of payment infrastructure

04:06 Payment scheme access, rules and standards 

06:36 Should central banks operate new payment infrastructure? 

11:12 Provider mandates

13:40 Private/public collaboration

Craig Ramsey – head of real-time payments, ACI Worldwide

Craig has over 30 years’ experience working with banks. He has been with ACI for over 20 years, providing specialist consulting and solutions to wholesale banking customers. Through the initiatives of the euro, SwiftNet, CLS, Target2, Sepa, and being a member of the Faster Payments Council Advisory Board in the US, Craig has helped customers leverage the power of the ACI solutions to ensure that the business needs are met.

George Evers – senior vice-president, real-time payments, Mastercard

George has spent the last 18 years driving technology innovations in financial services, leading product and strategy development across emerging technologies and enabling digital transformation for banks. He is a huge advocate of providing more businesses and consumers with access to modernised payment systems and delivering on the potential for these new systems.

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