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Ministerial working groups
Authorities seek to secure daily payments in case of serious disruptions

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 16.6.2022 14.30
Press release
Ministerial Working Group on Preparedness.

The authorities are creating backup arrangements to secure daily payments in the event that serious disruptions of society or emergency conditions would prevent the use of normal payment systems. The Ministerial Working Group on Preparedness decided to implement backup arrangements.

Revised on 22 June: Limited mobile payments will be possible in the Siirto application, but not in the Pivo application.

“The authorities have been closely monitoring the security situation in the financial sector over the spring and have seen nothing out of the ordinary. Individual operators in the sector are well prepared, for example, for cyber attacks. However, we must continue to be prepared on every level of society to secure daily payments even in the event of the most serious disruptions,” says Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko, who chairs the Ministerial Working Group.

An inoperative bank would transfer customer and account data

If a bank were to be affected by a serious long-term disruption of its operations, its customers’ account and card services could be handled in the new backup account system being established. The customer relationship in the original bank would remain unchanged, as the backup account system would temporarily offer key daily payment services on behalf of the inoperative bank. 

In the event the backup system is activated, customers of the bank affected by the disruption could

  • make bank transfers in euros from their account and receive payments on their account
  • make payments with debit cards (credit card payments would not be possible)
  • withdraw cash at least from ATMs with systems located in Finland (Otto ATMs)
  • make limited mobile payments using Finnish applications (for example the Siirto application).

At this stage, bank customers do not have to do anything other than make sure that their contact information is up to date in their bank and in the Population Information System.

Securing daily payments strengthens Finland’s resilience

The backup system for daily payments is being developed in cooperation between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Bank of Finland, the Financial Supervisory Authority and the Financial Stability Authority. The authorities are bringing on board the banking and payment services sector as well as operators critical to daily payments, such as retail organisations.

The backup system for daily payments is part of a wider set of measures to improve society’s resilience. In addition to the backup account system to be established, these measures include securing payment traffic between banks. The rapid change in the European security situation has made the need to create a national backup system more urgent.

The implementation of the backup system will require specifications to legislation. The Government is scheduled to submit a proposal for the necessary amendments on Wednesday 22 June.

Inquiries:

Jaakko Weuro, Director, Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 530 322, jaakko.weuro(at)gov.fi
Joel Kuuva, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 504 146 444, joel.kuuva(at)gov.fi

Annika Saarikko Financial markets Nykyinen hallitus
 
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