Parties involved in the payment system

The payment system plays a pivotal role in the Dutch economy. Millions of payments are processed each day, by debit card and giro, both nationally and internationally. Different payment methods and rules exist in the Dutch and international payment systems. The payment market features many parties, each making stringent demands with regard to the quality of daily payments. It is a market that benefits from continuous innovation of products and services.

The Payments Association organises the collective tasks in the national payment system for its members. Within its role, the Payments Association consults with numerous parties on behalf of its members. These parties include enterprise and consumer umbrella organisations, social interest groups, parties involved in infrastructure, brand owners and regulators.

Parties involved in the payment system

Supply side

The members of the Payments Association are providers in the payment system. They are payment services providers that offer end products on the market (to both businesses and private individuals) independently. In other words: banks, electronic money institutions and payment institutions. The Payments Association works closely with its members and consults with them regularly on developments and activities.

Demand side

The demand side includes the end users of payment services, both business owners and consumers. The Payments Association is committed to actively involving representatives of end users in its activities. In this way, the Payments Association fulfils its social role in the payment system.

Legislation and supervision

The payment system must comply with various laws and rules, both nationally and internationally. The Payments Association consequently deals with government authorities such as the Ministry of Finance, regulatory bodies such as the Dutch Central Bank (Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) and the Netherlands Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, NMa), the European Commission and other organisations that monitor legislation and regulations.

Regulations and standards

Regulations concerning payment products are necessary in order to clarify which roles and activities parties in the payment market may carry out for a particular payment product. An example of such a regulation is the stipulation that transaction processors and banks must ensure that a merchant will receive the amount of a PIN transaction in his bank account within 24 hours on business days.

Standards help to enable the different parties and links in the payment chain to work together properly. For example, there is a standard that prescribes how cash register systems and POS terminals are to be linked together to ensure that devices made by different manufacturers can be connected properly. There are also standards for giro-based transactions.

The Payments Association keeps track of national and international rules and standards that are relevant to its members and stakeholders, provides detailed information on how those rules and standards can be applied and helps its members to develop their own rules and standards.

Infrastructure

The processing of electronic and giro-based payments requires hardware, software, communication links and communication networks. Parties involved in this include: document processors, debit card suppliers, transaction processors, data communication providers, POS terminal suppliers, cash register suppliers and software suppliers. The Payments Association administers rules and requirements for these parties in the payment system and certifies hardware such as POS terminals and data communication lines. It also monitors compliance with rules and agreements in order to ensure and further improve the security and reliability of the payment system.