Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has processed far fewer banknotes than usual. The intake of banknotes has in fact decreased so much that, for the first time ever, DNB is issuing more banknotes than it is receiving.Read more
Cash: new agreements and more research
Even when the use of card payments is on the rise, the NFPS considers it still important for society that cash remains available as a well-functioning means of payment at the counter. The NFPS therefore reaffirmed its position on cash from 2015, which was based on a final report by one of its Task Forces, and made new agreements on the accessibility and availability of ATMs, the acceptance of cash and the continuity of cash transport. While all NFPS partners endorse the agreements, one of the partners noted that its members are of the opinion that the cash infrastructure is not functioning properly at this point in time due to the temporary closure of a great number of sealbag machines to deposit cash.
At the same time, the NFPS agreed to a DNB-commissioned medium-term study into a socially efficient and secure cash infrastructure in a society with a structurally lower use of cash. The study is prompted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, which has led to a sharp decline in the use of cash – at least for the time being, and the recent security issues such as explosive attacks. The study will be completed over the course of 2021. The results may lead to a review of the agreements made.
The NFPS was informed about the developments regarding the ATM base and in particular about the recent explosive attacks. Geldmaat, the banks, the police and DNB are working closely together on measures which will be introduced in the course of this year to stop the raids on ATMs. At the same time, the NFPS notes that the temporary closure of banks’ sealbag machines for exactly the same reason is causing problems, and therefore calls for improved security of these machines and a timetable for reopening them as soon as possible.
Follow-up to DNB's report “Lowering of switching barriers in the Dutch payment system: no number portability, but use of aliases?”
The NFPS endorses the conclusions and recommendations in the DNB report “Lowering of switching barriers in the Dutch payment system: no number portability, but use of aliases?”.Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra sent the report to the Dutch House of Representatives on 2 April 2020. The Minister had commissioned DNB to conduct this study following a tabled motion on the portability of payment accounts.
DNB concludes that the introduction of an alias for Dutch payment account numbers would make it easier to switch banks, but also that the social costs of introducing them significantly outstrip the benefits. For example, the law needs to be adjusted, foreign entrants need to incur additional costs to become active on the Dutch market for payment accounts and it would lead to a dual system for domestic and foreign remittances and direct debits, which goes against the rationale behind SEPA, of which the Netherlands is also part. DNB sees two possible alternatives to make it easier to switch banks. The first is to introduce an alias at European level that can also be used for other purposes than payment transactions, and the second is to further improve and advertise the existing Interbank Switch Support Service.
The Ministry of Finance has shared the DNB report with the European Commission and a number of interested Member States. Furthermore, it will contact the Dutch Payments Association to examine whether – and, if so, which – further improvements to the switching service are possible, and how it can be brought to the attention of consumers and businesses. The NFPS will discuss the progress made at its Autumn Meeting (17 November 2020).
Migration to strong customer authentication in the payment system on track
The NFPS is happy about the progress of the migration plan to meet the PSD2 strong customer or two-factor authentication requirement for payments by the end of 2020. This means that two out of three authentication requirements relating to possession, knowledge and biometrics must be met when making payments. In the Netherlands, this will particularly affect online credit cards payments, since debit card payments are already subject to the two-factor authentication requirement. Intensive cooperation between banks, acquirers and retailers should make it possible to complete the necessary infrastructure adjustments by the deadline of 31 December 2020.
Action plan for acceptance of international debit cards at the counter
The NFPS welcomes the efforts of the parties concerned to ensure that people with a foreign payment card (mostly Debit MasterCardand Visa Debit) can also pay at points of sale (POS) in the Netherlands. Now they often need to pay cash, because their debit cards are not accepted. At the same time, many extra ATMs have been installed in tourist areas, which does not improve the efficiency of POS payments either. In close cooperation with the other parties concerned, the Dutch Payments Association is currently implementing an action plan to make the necessary adjustments, in particular to the underlying card infrastructure.
Greater transparency about account information services
The NFPS has approved the good practices list on transparency in account information services provision. The NFPS previously observed that consumers and firms both need more transparency about account information services provided under PSD2. To help account information service providers provide such transparency, the NFPS has drawn up a good practices list consisting of seven questions. Service providers can answer these questions concisely and clearly before asking the account holder's consent to access his or her account. (Link maken naar te publiceren nota transparantie rekeninginformatiediensten) The competition and privacy aspects of the good practices list have been discussed with the Authority for Consumers & Markets (Autoriteit Consument & Markt – ACM) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens – Dutch DPA).
The National Forum on the Payment System seeks to improve the safety, reliability, accessibility and efficiency of the Dutch payment system. It brings together a broad base of representatives from providers and users of payment instruments. It is chaired by DNB. For more information, please contact DNB spokesperson Herman Lutke Schipholt at telephone number +31 6 524 969 00).