Access to basic payment services
Interim report 5
The government has tasked Growth Analysis to manage and develop data about basic payment services. The task also includes suggesting demarcations for the specified payment services to be analysed, performing analyses and making these data and analyses available to county administrative boards.
Reporting of the undertaking can be summarised in the following points:
- Yes, Growth Analysis is managing and developing the database, and this year has updated all parts of the database. The database has been augmented with current, relevant information ahead of reports on undertakings from the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS), the county administrative boards and Growth Analysis.
- Yes, Growth Analysis is conducting a continuous review of the content of the database in order to be relevant for all users. Demarcations and considerations take place continuously in order to meet both the needs of county administrative boards for analysis material and Growth Analysis' resource framework.
- Yes, Growth Analysis has analysed data relating to basic payment services from an accessibility perspective. These analyses form the basis of work by the county administrative boards and PTS to really guarantee accessibility to basic payment services. The aim is, where possible, to report these together with developments in other services.
- Yes, we are continuing to develop a special, web-based interface so that the county administrative boards' administrators can not only access data and analyses in an intuitive, effective way, but can also themselves contribute updates and quality improvements to the database. Development of the database is taking place in a dialogue with representatives of the county administrative boards and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.
- Yes, we are trying as far as possible to coordinate data about basic payment services with our current undertakings relating to other commercial and public services.
Around 38,000 people in the Swedish population have to travel more than 30 km to their nearest cash withdrawal facility. Almost 53,000 people have to travel more than 30 km to their nearest payment transmission facility. Around 1,000 workplaces with cash-intensive activities have more than 30 km to travel to their nearest service facility for cash management. The number of service locations for these three kinds of service has fallen since 2013. The change in accessibility to the services does, however, vary between different parts of the country.
One of the main reasons for the general fall in the number of service locations for payment services between 2013 and 2014 may be attributed to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority's decision to revoke one operator's licence to run its payment services business. This decision resulted, directly and indirectly, in a large number of agencies for various payment services being closed all over the country and accessibility to payment services worsening significantly in those areas. Most of these businesses had not resumed operations at the end of the year's inventory period for service facilities for basic payment services. It will therefore be necessary, after the next inventory period, to analyse the more long-term effect of one operator losing its licence to run its business and, using this case as an example, to discuss vulnerability in the infrastructure for basic payment services.