Infrastructures comprise the plants, installations and technical and administrative procedures used by one or more persons that permit the management of the information flows necessary to the transfer of money or the discharge of pecuniary obligations, including by clearing arrangements, within a payment system.
Payment infrastructures are of interest to the Oversight function by reason of the impact that their operation has on the financial system or parts of it. There is growing attention to the operators of infrastructures, with a view to controlling the risks deriving from catastrophic events (through business continuity plans) and other types of risk. The security safeguards adopted and service levels provided by the operators of payment infrastructures are of special importance to this end.
Some infrastructures are international in scope and are accordingly subject to cooperative oversight on the part of the authorities of the countries involved. The best known is SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), oversight on which is conducted in cooperative fashion by the national central banks of the G-10 countries and the ECB, under special protocols.