Payment systems replacement

The Bank is implementing a change programme to ensure ongoing provision of payment and settlement infrastructure that maintains national and international confidence and reliability, and enables innovation.
 Last updated: 11 March 2016

Exchange Settlement Account System (ESAS)

After issuing a request for proposals, the Bank has selected a preferred provider for the provision of a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system to replace the current ESAS system and contract negotiations are under way. The Bank will keep ESAS account holders informed about potential key system changes during the system design phase of this project, which is expected to begin in April 2016.

NZ Clear

The Reserve Bank has decided to retain the NZClear business. After a strategic review, the Bank sought interest from potential operators of securities settlement services. It concluded a search without attracting suitable bids that met service requirements and commercial terms. The Bank is now planning to invest in a new platform to provide these services. The new platform will be separate from the Exchange Settlement Account System.

Earlier work: Payment and Settlement Systems Review

On 28 November 2013, the Bank started a strategic review of the payment and settlement systems that it owns and operates – namely Exchange Settlement Account System ("ESAS") and NZClear Securities Settlement System ("NZClear").

The review was forward-looking and considered future demands and drivers for the provision of payment and settlement services. It allowed the Bank to explain its vision and principles, and specify the core requirements necessary to deliver these principles.

In May 2014, as part of this strategic review, the Bank released a consultation paper: Strategic Review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s payment and settlement systems (PDF 213KB). Through the consultation, the Bank sought feedback from industry on its vision and principles and the strategic questions that it faces. This feedback helped confirm a number of considerations and clarify others.

We received 22 submissions to the consultation paper and on 10 November 2014, released a Response to submissions received (PDF 125KB). Two key conclusions from the review were

  • that the services currently provided by ESAS and NZClear are likely to be provided in future by new technology that is separated or modular; and
  • that securities settlement is not a core business for the Bank, and alternative providers may be able to provide the service and deliver benefits to the financial system.

On 15 December 2014, the Reserve Bank sought Registrations of Interest from potential vendors for the procurement of an RTGS and a Security Settlement System with a Depository (SSD). The Bank evaluated these responses and shortlisted vendors to provide proposals for a RTGS system.