Glossary of terms used in payments and settlement systems

The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) is publishing this comprehensive glossary of payment system terminology as a reference document for the standard terms used in connection with payment and settlement systems. It combines various glossaries appended to earlier reports by the CPSS and the European Central Bank (ECB).

There are many aspects to payment systems, relating for instance to legal arrangements, technological and operational issues, financial market infrastructures and the conduct of monetary policy. In payment systems we see the practical application of many concepts that are key to central bank operations and policymaking, such as intraday liquidity, risk management and the oversight of payment and settlement systems. It is often observed that payment system policy planning requires a multidisciplinary approach and a familiarity with a wide range of subjects. Understanding the terminology of payment systems is therefore a key requirement, not only for those involved in day-to-activities connected with these systems but also for the policymakers, financial institutions, academics and others interested in these subjects. By bringing together all the terms and concepts associated with payment and settlement systems, this publication aims to provide readers with a single and easily accessible source with which to reference the generally accepted definitions of standard payment system terminology.

I hope readers will find this glossary a valuable addition to the previous work carried out by the Committee and other institutions to advance the understanding of payment and settlement systems. The electronic version of the publication, which is available on the BIS website (, will be regularly updated as new terminology appears in future CPSS publications.

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Chairman

Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems