The 2016–17 Red Book that is being published today provides a comprehensive and broad description of the main payment and settlement systems in Israel, and presents a review of the main developments in those years in regulation and competition in means of payment, payment infrastructures, and in risk management in the payments and settlements area.


The means of payment and payment system area is well into a business, regulatory and technological revolution, which will make them more advanced, more digital, user-friendly and accessible to both the general public and nonbank entities. In recent years, this process has come together with significant technological development, which allows the gradual development of advanced means of payment—including e-wallets, electronic deposit of checks, and mobile payments. This development is accompanied by appropriate legislation, which will ensure direct access for nonbank entities to the payment systems, and the maintaining the stability of those systems and entities.


In recent years, the Payment and Settlement Systems Division in the Bank of Israel’s Accounting, Payment, and Settlements Systems Department has led several significant processes in the area of payment and settlement systems: there was significant reform in the check clearing process as part of the implementation of the Electronic Check Clearing Law; a survey was conducted regarding use of means of payment in Israel to identify the public’s needs and uses in a range of means of payment, and to receive information on the public’s willingness to switch to using advanced digital means of payment; the Bank is examining advanced payment infrastructures that will allow immediate and final retail clearing, which serves as a substitute for cash, and even published a “Public Consultation” document to receive information on the issue; and the Bank promoted regulation for the existing payment systems. The Bank of Israel acted and continues to act to make the Masav and Shva systems accessible to nonbank entities, and it advances regulation of payment services—acquiring, issuance, account management, and payment transfers—in accordance with existing EU regulation (PSD 2).


The steps taken in the payment systems area are intended to remove barriers, and to set the infrastructure for future developments in the area, while providing maximum flexibility to all the players in choosing the services they are interested in receiving or supplying.