Payment infrastructure

Sweden’s future payment infrastructure

There are major changes under way at present in the payments area. Changing customer behaviour is creating expectations of fast, secure and more efficient payment services. New legislation enables for new organisations and increases competition in the payment sector. The rapid development of technology and new international standards, such as SEPA (the Single Euro Payment Area) and ISO20022, provide opportunities for new, modern and customer-friendly payment services.

Sweden has always had a well-functioning and efficient payment market, but to comply with new requirements and fulfil expectations, parts of the established rules and infrastructure need to be replaced. The aim is a flexible payment infrastructure with common basic functionality for Swedish mass payments, between individuals, companies and public authorities, created through open rules that are not dependent on any particular supplier.

For a couple of years, the Swedish Bankers’ Association has been investigating how a future Swedish payment infrastructure could be implemented. In 2017, a formal implementation project was introduced, which since has been working on proposals for new rulebooks and implementation guidelines in order to implement a new payment infrastructure. The project has also clarified how recipient reporting, recipient-initiated payments and e-money orders ​​can be managed in the new payment infrastructure.

The Swedish Bankers’ Association and seven banks - Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Länsförsäkringar Bank, Nordea, SEB, Skandiabanken, Swedbank - are active in the implementation project. Other banks and payment service providers, which are smaller players in the payment market, can sign a collaboration agreement (Samverkansavtal) with the project.

Since the beginning of 2018, a Nordic infrastructure for payments has been investigating in a project between seven Nordic banks. The objective is to create the world's first payment area for national and cross-border payments in several currencies. The Nordic and Swedish payment infrastructure projects have been collaborating as many of the questions are overlapping. The Nordic banking associations have been acting reference groups and the Swedish implementation project has participated in different workflows and other groups within the Nordic project. A decision is due to be taken by the Nordic project in early 2019 whether or not to implement a project.