General

On 28 November 2013, the Governing Council of the ECB approved the Regulation ECB/2013/43 (or Regulation (EU) 1409/2013) establishing the reference framework for ensuring the collection of data which is required to produce detailed statistics on payments and payment systems.

Statistics based on these data are deemed necessary to carry out the tasks laid down by the Statutes of the ESCB and the ECB. Additionally, these statistics are moreover provided for by Council Regulation (EC) 2533/98 concerning the collection of statistical information by the ECB.

This regulation aims to ensure better coverage and higher quality and reliability of the statistics in question. Its implementation replaces the current practice followed in compiling the ECB’s statistics on payments, included, among others, in the Blue Book. The new requirements will help ensure a greater consistency between the statistics, provided by central banks forming part of the ESCB. These statistics better meet the needs of users identified in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

The data is collected annually from all payment service providers, including electronic money issuers and payment system operators. This covers all transactions for which at least one counterparty is not a monetary and financial institution during the reference year. As the data are to be sent to the ECB by the Bank of Belgium on the last working day of the month of May in the year following the reference year the National Bank of Belgium set the date by which reporting agents need to provide it with basic information as well as the declaration arrangements. Furthermore, annex IV of the regulation enacts the minimum standards to be applied for transmission, accuracy and compliance with concepts. This includes being able to provide explanations on important variations.

The gathered data are yearly published on the National Bank of Belgium’s website.