This journal seeks to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners with an interest in payment systems, central counterparties, central securities depositories and trade repositories. It will be published on a quarterly basis and acts as an online forum promoting active discussions on the subject of financial market infrastructures.
The SWIFT Institute focuses on understanding current practice and future needs in global financial services, looking primarily at transaction banking, and promotes research by offering grants, facilitating access to research data and providing publication opportunities. The SWIFT Institute has issued its first call for proposals and is organising its first conference (in cooperation with the Harvard Kennedy School) in February 2013.
The PEN seeks to link policy practices and research activities in the field of payment systems and post-trading infrastructure. This web page fosters the exchange of information by serving as a point of reference for conference announcements, research papers, data sources and news in the field of payment economics.
The quantity and quality of research on issues relating to payment and settlement systems has increased substantially over the past few years. However, payment economics has not yet gained the recognition or infrastructure that other central bank-related research fields enjoy. As a first step towards filling that gap and as an attempt to further strengthen the link between research and practice, the ECB has joined forces with colleagues at other central banks, as well as academics, and established an informal payment economics network for interested central bankers and academics around the world.
The small team that coordinates the PEN includes representatives of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, De Nederlandsche Bank and the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and New York.
Payment economics covers a variety of issues relating to large-value and retail payment systems, central clearing counterparties (CCPs) and securities settlement systems in general. Research papers fall into three broad categories:
This is the most well-established area of payment economics literature and comprises both theoretical contributions and empirical studies. The latter can be divided into five categories: (i) liquidity; (ii) patterns, timing and participants’ behaviour; (iii) interbank money markets; (iv) topology and network analysis; and (v) simulations of counterfactual scenarios.
Research on retail payments includes studies looking at credit cards and mobile and electronic payments. It aims to identify types of consumer behaviour, quantify the impact of technological and regulatory advances in the industry, and propose new ideas and features in the field of retail payments.
Analysis of post-trading infrastructure represents the newest branch of payment economics. Studies looking at the modelling and simulation of CCP settlement – including analysis of newly proposed regulations and the concept of CCPs as public goods – fall into this category, as do studies of other settlement systems, alternative proposals for new clearing networks and discussions about over-the-counter (OTC) transactions.
Data sources have traditionally been the biggest obstacle to research studies in the field of payment economics owing to technical constraints and the problems posed by proprietary databases and confidentiality agreements. However, it has recently become easier for practitioners and academics to access and use transaction-level data.
The SWIFT Institute, which was launched in April 2012, fosters independent research by giving grants and access to research data to academics, industry professionals and central bank experts. The SWIFT Institute regularly publishes calls for proposals and call for papers.
The ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW) provides a wide range of data relating to payment and securities settlement systems in the European Union.
If you would like to join the network, make us aware of new papers, conferences or other relevant developments, or simply suggest improvements, please get in touch with us by email.
The PEN does not itself express views or adopt positions on issues. Any opinions expressed in documents made available through the PEN (including this web page) are those of the relevant organisations and authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the member institutions.