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The National Payment Systems have evolved to a great extent in the overall economic development strategy of Oman.

Expansion of the payment infrastructure all across Oman and engaging in creation of rules, regulations, standards and policies that will govern the Payment Systems,  administering as owner/operator of various clearing & settlement systems, providing credit for participants in the payment system and regulating private agents, service providers and other roles has been an ongoing process. 

The orderly and efficient functioning of the Payment Systems contributes to the financial and economic stability, provides a platform for monetary policy activities by providing effective and efficient transmission of monetary desires and ensuring efficient and cost effective discharge of claims and liabilities arising out of economic transactions, and hence are partners in economic growth.

CBO has adopted a vision for the national payment systems as:  “Endeavor towards building a safe, secure and efficient payment systems, being hawk-eyed towards global developments in payments infrastructure and being a receptor of innovations paving the way for providing Acceptable, Affordable, Accessible, Available & Adaptable payment systems”

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO), as the owner, operator and regulator of the National Payment Systems, develops the necessary regulatory framework, generally through a consultative process, to ensure that different types of payment systems cater to the needs of the various segments of society and market needs. The aim is to ensure easy accessibility and interoperability of the payment infrastructure, while ensuring safety and security of transactions.

The roles and responsibilities of CBO in the Payment Systems provided in the country, originate mainly from the Banking Law 2000 (Royal Decree No 114 of 2000). Article 29, of the Law empowers CBO to issue currency and undertake related functions and to serve as clearinghouse directly or through contractual arrangements with licensed banks. Article 5, of the Banking Law defines CBO’s role as a clearinghouse as under:

 “Clearing house” is the Central Bank when it functions as a clearing house pursuant to the provisions of Article 29(b) of this Law or an association of banks formed to clear checks and drafts and other persons regularly clearing items through clearing house associations or contractual arrangements within or outside the Sultanate.”

Also, with the enactment of the Royal Decree 8/2018 - National Payment Systems Law (NPSL), CBO roles & powers has been expanded. The law aims to:

1. Develop and provide payment systems in a safe , efficient and effective manner in the Sultanate
2. Provide CBO with the supervisory authority to supervise all payment systems and work on developing them
3. Achieving the integrity of payment system to minimize any potential risks to ensure and maintain financial stability in the sultanate

The Central Bank of Oman recognizes the importance of well-organized payment infrastructure for the following reasons:

They complement a financial system in its effective functioning due to their ability to ensure efficient and cost effective discharge of claims and liabilities arising out of economic transactions, and hence are partners in economic growth

They help in reducing the credit/counterparty risk in the financial system

They provide a platform for monetary policy operations for effective and efficient transmission of monetary impulse

They provide important statistical inputs useful for insight into the economic activity for the financial system supervisors and analysts

They possess a huge systemic value and hence their orderly functioning is of critical significance for financial and economic stability

Interested to buy commemorative coins, banknotes, a Banking Law book, and/or many other things that are on sale by CBO? Please follow the ‘Available for Purchase’ link to know what is up for sale.