Overview of Lebanon's National Payment System
Lebanon has made significant steps towards building an advanced and secure payment system that abides by International standards and best practices, including the Principles of Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMIs). The New Lebanese National Payment System (NPS) will enhance the speed of movement of money within the national economy, and will enable efficient and optimum utilization of financial resources. NPS will help the cash management process for Banks and Financial Institutions, thus reducing liquidity risk. It also provides timely and accurate data and statistics to support monetary policy decisions.
There are many developments related to the Payment System in Lebanon, mainly closing the six Regional Clearing Houses and unifying the process into one centralized Clearing House at BDL Headquarters in Beirut.
Moreover, BDL enforced the use of IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to facilitate automatic processing of money transfers. Lebanon is the third Arab Country adopting the IBAN in April 2009, with a special feature that all transfer instructions have to include the IBAN number of the Beneficiary or else it has to be rejected.
BDL established the Payment System Department (PSD) in April 2010. The new department replaced the Current Operations department. PSD is now composed of three divisions: Operations, Research, and Oversight. The Payment Systems’ team at BDL includes experts in economics, banking, finance, law, and IT.
BDL went Live successfully with the "BDL-RTGS" in July 2012, and also went live with the automated Retail Payment System "BDL-CLEAR" in November 2013. BDL is currently working on the third component of the National Payment System, the "Government Payment System".