Direct access to a payment system requires opening an account at a central bank. There are two main account types:
- Settlement-only account that is used only for transactional purposes (participants are unable to hold balances beyond those necessary for effecting payments).
- 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.