​Today, the Bank of Finland organised the ninth Payments Forum, where payment sector experts discussed the challenges and possibilities of the future payments environment. The key themes of this year’s Forum focused on innovation, digitalisation and cyber security.

In his opening remarks to the Payments Forum, Erkki Liikanen, Governor of the Bank of Finland, noted that payment markets are undergoing a period characterised by the entry of new payment methods and providers.

‘Innovations bring new, more user-friendly and cost-efficient forms of payment onto the market. Modern payments must be fast and easy, but the security and reliability of payments cannot be compromised. At the same time, the needs of different user groups have to be taken into account,’ underlined Mr Liikanen.

In developing future payment solutions, it is also essential to integrate them into the other processes of the economy as seamlessly as possible. An increasingly digital economy opens up new opportunities for making use of information included in e-invoicing and payment transactions. The Bank of Finland’s Payments Council has dealt with, among other things, a standardised payment proposal initiative and other projects for automation of financial administration processes and reporting. 

‘The Payments Council has created a framework for cooperation between service providers, users and authorities that helps to promote socially efficient forms of payment. An open dialogue and cooperation between various stakeholders are of utmost importance in order to ensure that efficiency gains can be made use of in full,’ emphasised Mr Liikanen.

The efficiency gains of digitalisation are considerable, but it has also generated new threats connected with cyber crime, which need to be taken seriously. In payments, as in financial services more generally, the availability and operational reliability of services are key issues that guarantee public confidence in these services.

‘Cyber security is a comprehensive concept involving, besides technical systems, also operational practices, staff training, and clear communication and action plans. In performing their oversight and supervisory work, authorities pay increasing attention to cyber risks. However, each financial market participant must be active in developing its own cyber security,’ stressed Mr Liikanen.

The aim of the Payments Forum is to foster dialogue and cooperation as well as a common perspective among Finnish market participants for the purpose of ensuring secure and efficient payments.

For more information, please contact Kari Kemppainen, Senior Economist (kari.kemppainen@bof.fi, tel. +358 10 831 2249).