The PAY Project will begin to be implemented next month, in a process that will be phased until mid-2024, with the first results expected in 2025.

“We don't want to be an operator that ensures that at the end of the day transactions are settled and movements are made to the central bank account. We want to be an actor in the payment strategy in Portugal”, according to the administrator of Banco de Portugal, Hélder Rosalino, and reported by ECO.

Rosalino then added that the central bank was developing a database with more granular and analytical information on the payment system in Portugal. “We are going to move to payment-by-payment information,” he explained.

The project “will make it possible to respond to the growing demands for information for analysis and studies necessary for the fulfilment of various tasks”.

Among these functions are, for example, the definition of policies within the scope of the use of payment instruments, the supervision of payment systems and instruments, analysis of user preferences, identification of regional asymmetries in access to payment instruments or monitoring almost in real time of the evolution of the Portuguese economy and tourism, lists the supervisor.

Currently, the central bank annually publishes the Report on Payment Systems with data on the number of transactions and amounts by means of payment, whether by card, cash, credit or immediate transfer, among others. Last year, the payments market in Portugal registered 3,730 million operations involving 655.5 billion euros.

Data of this granularity and frequency were vital to understand the impact of the lockdown on the economy during the pandemic, when stores were closed, people could not go out and borders were closed.

“It will enable the entities that provide the data to be more efficient and reduce the costs of reporting information to the Bank of Portugal, in the medium term, as well as access to more comprehensive and timely information, namely about positioning in the market”.

Society in general will also benefit from the project by being able to access more detailed and timely information in the area of payments through the Banco de Portugal statistics portal, BPstat.