Central bank account types

Direct access to a payment system requires opening an account at a central bank. There are two main account types:

  1. Settlement-only account that is used only for transactional purposes (participants are unable to hold balances beyond those necessary for effecting payments).
  2. Reserve account or overnight account that gives participants access to additional central bank services (such as deposit and credit facilities, including access to intraday credit or to overnight deposits).

Non-bank PSPs are reliant on banks to submit payment instructions on their behalf and to hold client funds in safeguarded accounts. Access to a settlement account would ensure that non-banks can process payments themselves and would no longer have to rely on banks. However, non-bank PSPs would likely need a reserve account or an upgraded version of a settlement-only account that would allow for holding balances, i.e. client funds, for longer periods.