On 18 November 2021, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a consultative report titled Extending and aligning payment system operating hours for cross-border payments as part of the G20 cross-border payments programme.

The report focuses on the operating hours of real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems which are key to enhancing cross-border payments. Extending RTGS operating hours across jurisdictions could help by increasing the speed of payments and reducing liquidity costs and settlement risks.

Based on a survey of central banks from 82 jurisdictions, 62 RTGS systems were analysed and the following ‘end states’ for extending operating hours were proposed:

  • End state 1 is an increase of operating hours on current operating days. 
  • End state 2 is an extension of operations to additional days on which many RGTS systems don’t currently operate.
  • End state 3 is an extension of operating hours to 24/7.

The report also introduces the concept of a ‘global settlement window’. This is a new concept reflecting the time period during which the largest number of RTGS systems are simultaneously operating – as a key consideration for central banks assessing potential end states for RTGS operating hours. At present, the global settlement window is best characterised as the time period from 06:00 to 11:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on working days. This is broadly the five-hour period when, on average, the highest number of CPMI and non-CPMI systems are concurrently operating across all jurisdictions covered in this report.

The deadline for comments is 14 January 2022.