Author: Gabriella Gubik
Faster clearing of payment transfers Contributed by Gárdos Füredi Mosonyi Tomori November 05 2010 The National Bank of Hungary has recently amended its Decree on Payment Services Activity (18/2009 (VIII 6)) in order to expedite the clearing of domestic payment transfers as of July 2012. The present regulation provides that domestic payment transfers must be cleared within one business day. The aim of the amendment is to ensure that such payment transfers can be credited to the account of the payee's financial services provider within either four or six hours. The four-hour execution time limit will apply to all financial institutions with a direct connection to the national clearing system, whereas the sixhour time limit will apply if a payer's institution is connected to the domestic clearing system indirectly, as in the case of mutual savings banks. The reduced execution time will apply to electronic payment transfers denominated in forints, but not to paper-based transfers or payment orders in a foreign currency, as direct payment processing is unavailable in such cases. The existing regulation is based on the EU Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC). The National Bank of Hungary introduced the amendment on the basis of the authorisation granted by the directive, which allows EU member states to provide for a shorter maximum execution time for domestic payment transfers. The details of the amended decree have been developed in line with the standards set for the Single European Payment Area (SEPA), although Hungary remains outside the eurozone. Several studies have considered Hungary's optimum strategy towards SEPA, but the authorities and the banking industry ultimately agreed that Hungary would be placed at a competitive disadvantage if it did not start to apply SEPA standards to its domestic payment system before joining the eurozone. Therefore, these standards are considered a stable basis for the reform of the Hungarian payment system. As well as facilitating Hungary's potential future accession to the eurozone, the reform is intended to help Hungarian financial services providers to compete with providers based in other EU member states. A shorter execution time is also likely to benefit customers. It will facilitate their financial management, as they will be able to use payments for a new transaction on the same day. Moreover, as financial services providers will no longer be able to earn interest on such payments during the one-day execution period, their customers will profit instead. The amendment will become effective on July 1 2012, giving payment service providers and the clearing system operator enough time to implement the necessary system changes. For further information on this topic please contact Gabriella Gubik at Gárdos, Füredi, Mosonyi, Tomori by telephone (+36 1 327 7560), fax (+36 1 327 7561) or email (email@example.com). The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer. ILO is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription. Register at www.iloinfo.com.
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