CPMI report identifies steps to enhance cross-border payments

Press release  | 
13 July 2020
  • The CPMI report comprehensively sets out the necessary elements to improve cross-border payments to make them faster, cheaper, more transparent and inclusive.
  • The CPMI is committed to taking a leading role in developing and implementing a global roadmap as part of the G20's mission to tackle this multidimensional task.
  • Resolving the longstanding frictions and challenges in cross-border payments would boost global trade, development and economic growth.

Cross-border payments suffer from a number of frictions - they can be slow, expensive, unreliable and unavailable in some countries. These shortcomings are longstanding and have been thrown into sharp relief by improvements in domestic payments and by developers of proposals for new payment arrangements, like Libra.

To address these issues, in response to a remit from the G20, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) today published a report - Enhancing cross-border payments: building blocks of a global roadmap - which aims to make lasting improvements in cross-border payments.

The report sets out 19 building blocks for a global roadmap to improve cross-border payments. It forms part of a three-stage process initiated by the G20. While improvements to technology are one piece of the puzzle, international cooperation and collaboration will be crucial to reduce cross-border frictions.

"The shortcomings of cross-border payments have been apparent for many years and have been thrown into sharp relief by domestic payment systems," said Sir Jon Cunliffe, Chair of the CPMI and Deputy Governor, Bank of England. "Cross-border payments are necessarily more complex than domestic payments, but we need to bring them into line with the standards, efficiency and reliability that users now have a right to expect."

The G20 has made enhancing cross-border payments a priority during the 2020 Saudi Arabian Presidency and asked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to coordinate the development of a roadmap to tackle the system's multidimensional problems.

The FSB's first-stage report, which assessed existing cross-border payment arrangements and challenges, was issued in April. Today's publication marks the CPMI's completion of the second stage. It highlights five focus areas: a commitment to a joint public and private sector vision; regulatory, supervisory and oversight coordination; improvement of existing payment infrastructures; enhancing data quality; and exploring the potential of new payment infrastructures.

"Faster, cheaper, more transparent and more inclusive cross-border payment services would have widespread benefits for citizens and businesses worldwide, supporting economic growth, international trade, global development and financial inclusion," said Cunliffe, who also co-chairs the FSB Cross-border Payments Coordination Group.

On this basis, the FSB will coordinate the development of a roadmap to enhance cross-border payments, which will be delivered to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in October 2020. This third stage will also involve the CPMI and other relevant international organisations and standard-setting bodies.

"If we are to succeed in improving cross-border payments, we require a clear political commitment and strong support from central bank Governors and finance ministers, as well as private sector action," said Cunliffe.

"Central banks play a key role in fostering the safety and efficiency of payments on a domestic and a cross-border level. If anything, their role is more important nowadays in view of accelerating digital innovation and the challenges posed by the pandemic."

Note for editors:

The CPMI promotes the safety and efficiency of payment, clearing, settlement and related arrangements, thereby supporting financial stability and the wider economy. It is a global standard setter in this area. The CPMI monitors and analyses developments in these arrangements, both within and across jurisdictions. It aims to strengthen regulation, policy and practices regarding such arrangements worldwide. It also serves as a forum for central bank cooperation in related oversight, policy and operational matters, including the provision of central bank services. The CPMI Secretariat is hosted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

In December 2019, the CPMI established a Task Force dedicated to working on cross-border payments and contributed, via members of this Task Force, to the stage 1 assessment report.

More information about the CPMI, and all its publications, can be found on the BIS website at www.bis.org/cpmi.