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"The instant payment service of Latvijas Banka's EKS provides banks with the opportunity to offer instant payments to their customers to transfer money from an account in one bank to an account in another bank in a few seconds on any day at any time of the day and for the same fee as other credit transfers of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA)."


Innovations of payment infrastructure

Instant payments

The instant payment service of Latvijas Banka’s EKS provides an opportunity for banks to offer instant payments to their customers to transfer money from an account in one bank to an account in another bank within a matter of seconds on any day and at any time of the day and for the same fee as other credit transfers of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). The joining of the Treasury to the instant payment service provided an opportunity for households and businesses to make budgetary and other payments to public institutions using instant payments. To make SEPA instant payments, the EKS uses connections with European instant payment systems. In 2022, the EKS, with the help of innovative solutions, reduced the number of intermediaries involved in the execution of instant payments, making the processes even more efficient.

At the end of 2022, instant payments in Latvia were offered by Latvijas Banka, the Treasury and seven credit institutions (AS Citadele banka, AS SEB banka, Swedbank AS, Signet Bank AS, BluOr Bank AS, AS Reģionālā investīciju banka and AS LPB Bank), thus ensuring the availability of instant payments to more than 90% of Latvia’s population.

Throughout the year, the volume and value of instant payments processed via the instant payment service increased by 2.0 and 2.6 times respectively (37.3 million instant payments totalling 16.6 billion euro were processed), with up to 200 thousand instant payments processed on certain days. The availability of the instant payment service was higher than 99.9%.

Proxy Registry "Instant Links"

Latvijas Banka ensured the operation of the Proxy Registry "Instant Links", enabling the customers of the largest Latvian and Estonian credit institutions to make instant payments and other payments in an even more convenient manner, just indicating the payee’s mobile phone number in the payment order.

Chart 1. Dynamics of the number of instant links in 2022



At the end of 2022, 726 thousand instant links were registered with the Proxy Registry “Instant Links”, the availability of which exceeded 99.9%, showing a 17% increase compared to the end of the previous year. In 2022, the register processed 19.5 million requests. 60% of instant links were registered with customers of Latvian banks and 40% with those of Estonian banks.

Digital Euro Project

To promote the development of innovative payment instruments of the central banks, Latvijas Banka participated in the investigation process of an innovative payment instrument, the digital euro, which was led by the ECB. Latvijas Banka cooperated with the HLTF-CBDC (High Level Task Force on Central Bank Digital Currency) and its working group, participating in the analysis of various digital euro issues. In the first year of the investigation phase, important fundamental questions of the digital euro design were decided, including the need to make payments with the digital euro offline, the level of privacy of payments, as well as the role of financial service providers in the digital euro ecosystem. To raise public awareness of the digital euro project, Latvijas Banka prepared a series of informative articles within the framework of the research plan, explaining the need for the digital euro and the progress of the investigation phase project.

Public education

Experts of Latvijas Banka participated in several conferences and professional discussions, including the provision of information on instant payments, crypto-assets, central bank digital currencies and the launch of the investigation phase of the digital euro project to the mass media.

Analytical articles on crypto-assets, the digital currency of central banks, the digital euro and payment fraud fraud were written in 2022.

Experts of Latvijas Banka also continued to deliver lectures at Latvian universities on modern payments and how they are affected by innovation, technological development and everyday digital transformation. Students appreciated the lectures very much.

EKS operation

The EKS, developed and maintained by Latvijas Banka, ensures the settlement of customer payments in euro from an account in one bank to an account in another bank by the Latvian payment market participants via the instant payment service and the clearing service across the SEPA.

The direct participants of the EKS are eight credit institutions, the Treasury and Latvijas Banka, of which six credit institutions, the Treasury and Latvijas Banka used the instant payment service in 2022.

Chart 2. Volume and value of payments processed in the EKS



In 2022, 113.5 million SEPA credit transfers totalling 188.3 billion euro were executed in the EKS (in the instant payment service and the clearing service combined). The volume and value of the payments executed in the EKS increased by 12.2% and 17.8% respectively year-on-year.

TARGET2-Latvija operation

In 2022, Latvijas Banka continued to provide the operation of TARGET2-Latvija – one of the component systems of TARGET2, which is the third largest payment system in the world.

Chart 3. Volume and value of payments made in TARGET2-Latvija



The availability of TARGET2, including TARGET2-Latvija, accounted for 100% in 2022. TARGET2-Latvija processed on average 878 payments per day worth 1.3 billion euro. The total volume of payments decreased by 0.9%, while their total value rose by 22.0% year-on-year.

In 2022, Latvijas Banka, together with the other central banks of the Eurosystem, continued the implementation of the TARGET2 and TARGET2-Securities consolidation project under which a new innovative payment system TARGET is established. The T2 service of this system will replace the currently operating TARGET2. Although Latvijas Banka and TARGET2-Latvija participants were ready for migration to the new system on 21 November 2022, the system start-up date was moved to 20 March 2023, considering the need for participants in other countries to continue testing.

Latvijas Banka also provided payment services in euro to the institutions whose settlement accounts were opened with Latvijas Banka, but which were not direct participants of Latvijas Banka’s payment system TARGET2-Latvija, i.e. the Treasury, the FCMC, Latvian, foreign and international financial institutions. In 2022, payments of the above institutions executed by Latvijas Banka amounted to 2.3 billion euro.

Payment system oversight

Latvijas Banka performed day-to-day oversight of the EKS, analysing the system’s technical and operational functions, compiling its statistical data and making sure that the interbank payment environment in Latvia is secure and efficient.

When performing the oversight of development of the payment instruments used in Latvia, Latvijas Banka regularly (on a semi-annual basis) compiled and analysed data on payments made by customers of Latvia’s payment service providers. Payment data are compiled in compliance with a uniform ECB statistical methodology.

Oversight of financial instrument settlement systems

Latvijas Banka, in cooperation with Eesti Pank, Lietuvos bankas and the central bank of Iceland, completed the cyber resilience assessment of the Central Securities Depository Nasdaq CSD SE covering 239 CROE (cyber resilience oversight expectations) aspects. According to the assessment, the depository ensures compliance with CROE standards. In order to improve cyber resilience, recommendations and observations were made in areas where improvements are possible.

Representing the Eurosystem as the central bank issuing euro, Latvijas Banka conducted an annual assessment of the compliance of Nasdaq CSD SE operation with the requirements of the Eurosystem, making sure that the depository ensures compliance with all requirements.

Operational areas