Legislative Decree n° 507 of 30 December 1999, implementing Law n° 205 of 25 June 1999, reformed the system of penalties for the issuing of unauthorised or uncovered bank and postal cheques. This reform, which responds to the need to enhance protection for the circulation of cheques, introduced an alternative system of penalties to the penal system; its effectiveness is based on the fact that all agents have access to information on people who have used cheques in an illicit manner and that prohibitive measures are applied to those responsible for such behaviour.
For the purpose of implementing the innovations introduced, these new rules have provided for the setting up at the Bank of Italy of a computerised archive of bank and postal cheques and payment cards (called Centrale di allarme interbancaria – CAI); it constitutes a service of general economic interest whose purpose is to ensure smooth operation of the payment system.
The Bank of Italy has made use of an option offered by the law and, as the body responsible for data processing decided, from the moment the CAI was launched, to avail itself of an external body for the technical management of this archive.
This section presents legal and administrative information concerning the CAI service.