Transactional Technology Infrastructures

The effective transfer of money between customers of the same and of different institu­tions is one of the main functions of the financial systems. While the stability assessment of the payment system is mostly interested in wholesale systems, the development assess­ment focuses more on the cost of and access to retail payment services. Development assessment includes evaluating the effectiveness of the check and money transfer system in terms of time and cost. It also entails assessing the access to those services, either directly through banks or indirectly through other financial institutions that use banks as agents. Indicators to assess the effectiveness of the payment system include the cost and time to transfer money. As alternative indicators of access, some studies have surveyed the small numbers of the population and of subgroups who have a transactions banking account, debit card, or credit card, as well as the distribution of travel time to the nearest ATM or money transmission point. Unfortunately, as yet, there is no cross-country dataset for such access indicators.

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